Anorexia in Men

Anorexia is a eating disorder that describes the refusal of individuals to eat in order to maintain a standard weight. Both the medical and mental health community continues to be baffled by the disorder. There are different incentives that set off anorexia such as contentment with personal self-esteem and body shape. It is a serious problem affecting over 1 million men in any given year and it is frequently misdiagnosed. At times, it is ignored not only in medical settings but clinical settings as well due to the misconception women are the ones affected by it. Self induced starvation is at the center of the disorder leading to body mass index that is below 17.5 (Watson 10).

There are several characteristics and symptoms associated with anorexia that cause serious medical conditions and occasionally, lead to death. Strict calorie intake is used to inflict starvation, purging behavior that includes induced vomiting and laxatives use. Fear of either gaining weight or becoming fat trigger starvation. Researchers have carried out studies on men who have eating disorders on theoretical and clinical grounds. From a clinical point of view, there is need to provide practical men for those with eating disorders to assist them make treatment and diagnostic decisions.

Men who suffer from eating disorders aren’t different from women who suffer from the same (Watson 10). Generally, men are believed to be psychologically constrained compared to women and not likely to search for therapeutic services. Anorexic men are oblivious to the disorder and they experience incongruence that involves the call for real body loss and control. Because of this, they live secluded lives.

Anorexia causes

There are socio-cultural, psychical and biological factors that cause anorexia according to Shepphird.

Psychical factors

These include adolescent crisis and preponderant psychological mechanism. The latter is total body control.

Psychological and social factors

In this case, anorexia appears as a result of demands for the adolescent to enjoy social activity, sexual freedom and independence.

Biological factors

Common causes are neurochemical and hereditary factors. Individuals that are biological interrelate to anorexic patients are at a high risk of becoming anorexic as well.

Anorexic people have low leptin levels in their blood (Shepphird 58).

Anorexia prognosis

The prognosis is articulated as mortality rate and illness duration. Men who seek treatment often do so under duress. Some of the prognostic points include the duration the disorder lasts, recurrent vomits excess weight loss and dejection.


Current statistics indicate that the prevalence of anorexia in men in one tenth times more common as is the case in women. Men are exposed to endocrine disorders whenever they take excessive exercise and self starvation which is confirmed by low levels of testosterone.

 Impact the media has on anorexic men

Anorexic men display similar characteristics as women which include the push for acceptance, low self esteem, and inability to deal with emotional pressure.  Anorexic men also tend to form close relationships with mothers and they experience body ridicule from peers because of their appearance (Cardwell and Cara 144)


Anorexia affects over 1 million men and its prevalence is rapidly spreading. The notion that it affects women alone is misleading and medical professionals should admit that it affects both sexes. Patients should be individually assessed and treated and the emotional stigma eliminated.