Archives for Boys & Men

Boys & Men

3 Common Myths About Eating Disorders

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. The goal is to increase awareness and education about eating disorders.

Eating disorders are serious illnesses. But, sadly, in our society, they're both belittled and deeply misunderstood. That's why, today, I'd like to focus on dispelling several common myths about EDs.

Below, two experts from the Eating Recovery Center share the truth behind the misconceptions.

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Boys & Men

Athletes & Disordered Eating: What Parents Need To Know

{via etsy by Michele Maule}
Sports offer many physical benefits. They also teach leadership skills, teamwork, discipline and life lessons. Kids who participate in sports even tend to do better in school. And sports are fun.

But participating in a sport can also become a slippery slope to unhealthy and dangerous behaviors. And they can trigger eating disorders in individuals who are already genetically vulnerable to EDs.

I had the pleasure of talking with Doug Bunnell, Ph.D, vice president and co-director at the The Renfrew Center Foundation, about why the athletic environment can become harmful and what parents and caregivers can do.

So what is it about sports that can serve as a slippery slope?

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Binge Eating

Binge Eating In Men: Q&A With Richard Bedrosian


Eating disorders don't discriminate. They affect people of all ages, appearances, races and religions. Still, when the conversation turns to eating disorders (or disordered eating), we often forget that men struggle, too.

That's why I was especially interested in speaking with Richard Bedrosian, Ph.D, co-author of this recent study on binge eating in men, published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders. Bedrosian is the Director of Behavioral Health and Solution Development at J&J’s Wellness & Prevention, Inc.

Below, he reveals what we know about binge eating in men, why eating disorders remain under-recognized in this population, what treatments are effective and much more.
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Body Image

Body Image, Bullying & Eating Disorders In The Gay Community

{via It Gets Better Project; helps to fund anti-bullying & suicide prevention efforts}

Today I'm pleased to present this guest post by writer Brittany Lyons. Below, Brittany sheds light on an important topic: the prevalence of body image issues and eating disorders in the gay community and what might be to blame.

Brittany aspires to be a psychology professor, but decided to take some time off from her PhD program to help people learn to navigate the academic lifestyle. She currently lives in Spokane, Washington, where she spends her time reading science fiction and walking her dog.
When people think about body image or eating disorders, they usually imagine young, impressionable girls who come to hate their own bodies because they don't match unrealistic advertisements, TV shows and movies. And, in fact, most eating disorder awareness and assistance programs are aimed at women.

However, a 2007 study from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found that women aren't the only ones who need such programs, as gay and bisexual men may be just as much at risk (or even higher risk) for poor body image and  eating disorders as women. Thus, instead of just focusing on women, it is imperative that eating disorder programs focus on all groups.

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Boys & Men

The Stigma Of Eating Disorders & Setting Stereotypes Straight

Eating disorders are serious biologically-based mental illnesses, which can affect anyone.
They do not discriminate by age, gender, class, color, culture, size, shape or weight.
They cause a variety of health complications, including heart problems, electrolyte imbalances and osteoporosis.
Eating disorders also have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
Yes, you read that correctly.
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Body Image

The Adonis Complex: Insight from Body Image Expert Roberto Olivardia

I've addressed the topic of men, boys and body image before on Weightless (check out my interviews with eating disorder survivor and advocate Patrick Bergstrom and author of Making Weight: Healing Men’s Conflicts with Food, Weight and Shape Leigh Cohn, parts 1 and 2).

Recently, I had the pleasure of emailing with Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and co-author of The Adonis Complex: How to Identify, Treat and Prevent Body Obsession in Men and Boys.

According to Olivardia, "Many more men struggle with body image concerns than people think. Men represent 1 in 16 eating disorder individuals, 50 percent of people with body dysmorphic disorder, about 15 percent of cosmetic surgery patients, and almost all steroid users."

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Men & Body Image: Q&A with Leigh Cohn, Part 2

Yesterday, I posted part one of my interview with Leigh Cohn, MAT, CEDS, the publisher of Gurze Books, which specializes in eating disorder publications and awareness. Leigh is also author of Making Weight: Healing Men’s Conflicts with Food, Weight and Shape, so I'm thrilled that he was able to share his insight on the topic of men and body image.

Below, Leigh talked about everything from stereotypes and stigma to self-acceptance and leading a healthy, fulfilling life.

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Men, Body Image & Disordered Eating: Q&A with Leigh Cohn

Boys and men also struggle with body image issues, disordered eating, excessive exercise and eating disorders. But we don't hear as much about these topics. And while there are many resources for girls and women and some progress being made in the fashion industry and women's magazines regarding body diversity, we haven't seen such great strides for boys and men.

That's why I'm so pleased to present part one of my interview with Leigh Cohn, MAT, CEDS, who sheds light on these topics. Leigh is the publisher of Gurze Books, a publishing company that's been specializing in eating disorder publications and awareness since 1980, and author of Making Weight: Healing Men's Conflicts with Food, Weight and Shape.

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Men, Eating Disorders & Patrick Bergstrom from I Chose to Live

About 10 percent of eating disorder sufferers are male, though the number may be steadily climbing to 25 percent. Still, we often forget that boys and men get eating disorders, too. The result?

There aren't many treatment centers geared toward men (more facilities are starting to offer male-focused services nationwide). And the shame and secrecy prevent men from seeking treatment in the first place.

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