When you read about the dangers of eating disorders, many things come to mind. The most common thing, however, is probably the image of a woman dealing with binge eating, anorexia or bulimia. You probably won’t be surprised to find that men deal with those disorders too, but one of the things few people know is that often, studies of binge eating don’t take men into account at all.
Binge eating itself is often overlooked when discussing eating disorders. While bulimia and anorexia take the spotlight more often, binge eating affects a large number of people, and it’s linked to health problems like excessive weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Most studies of binge eating, however don’t take into account that men face the disorder as well. A study published in October of 2011 took a large sample of men and women in their analysis of binge eating. What they found was that both men and women binge eat when they are faced with stress and anxiety.
One noticeable difference, however is what sort of stress brought about binge eating. For women, episodes of binging were more commonly brought on by anxiety and stress, whereas men were more likely to binge when that stress or anxiety came from physical impairment. The study also suggested that treatment for men should be monitored for binge eating as much as women. Another surprising finding was the fact that men in the study were more likely to go towards digital self-help programs than women, which leads many to believe that men may be more open to electronic treatment than women, who are more open to face-to-face treatment programs.
Whether you are male or female, it’s important to know what the signs of binge eating are. If you often experiencing emotional eating episodes that you feel you can’t control or if you’re feeling depressed or distressed after an eating episode, seek help from a professional program.