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Boys with Anorexia

anorexia in boys

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Boys with Anorexia are less likely to ask for help, with between 10-15% of sufferers being male it is important parents and carers know the symptoms. Anorexia Nervosa means ‘loss of appetite for nervous reasons’ and is one of the best known of a whole range of eating disorders that affect a variety of people in some very complex ways. Anorexics are usually obsessed with gaining weight and will do whatever they can do counter the affects of calorie intake through dieting, extreme sporting or simple portion control.

Who can this affect?

Eating disorders can often be seen as a feminine problem, with pressure on young girls from peers to look like the latest big pop star and fit into all the most glamorous clothes, but the same psychological problems that cause eating disorders in girls affect boys in the same way and result in the same physiological outcomes. It is estimated that around 10 – 15% of people diagnosed with Anorexia or Bulimia are male however studies show that males are less likely to go seek treatment due to either a lack of knowledge about the disorder or the perceived stigma attached to it, in the past 4 years 3800 people under 18 were diagnosed with Anorexia, of which 270 were boys under 10.

There isn’t a conclusive source for data about eating disorders and the ranges of people they affect, all we know is that young boys are just as at risk from the affects of anorexia as any girl and only in recent years has the true scale of the problem been public knowledge. Often it can be hard for parents to recognise the signs of anorexia, particularly if your son is very active or has never been a very big eater, so it is frustrating when the diagnosis does finally come, the feeling that ‘I should have known’. Truth is that not many parents do recognise the symptoms at first, maybe you know something isn’t right, but the possibility that your son may have Anorexia may not be the one that jumps out at you, what’s important is to make sure you seek the right hep and support your son with whatever he needs.

anorexia in boys

Anorexia signs to look out for

Here are a few tips that may help you recognise the signs;

  • obsession with being thin or under weight, usually much less than average weight
  •  checking foods for calorie content
  •  always leaving the table during or immediately after meals to go to bathroom
  •  exercising excessively
  •  lying about food they eat at school or when out with friends
  •  looking at themselves in the mirror or weighing themselves constantly
  •  drinking caffeine drinks to give them energy

These are only a very few examples of what you may notice, but any radical behaviour change in your child should be monitored closely and if you have any concerns then speak to your health care professional as son as possible. Anorexia, especially in young boys, can be notoriously hard to spot due to their lifestyle and eating habits, but it’s clear no young children should be so obsessed with their weight and appearance. Anorexia in boys is set to become a massive problem if awareness isn’t raised about how this disease can affect our boys.Help and advice can be found at Anorexia and Bulimia Care




About Steven Petter

About Steven Petter

Steve has three children, Connor, Harmony-Skye and Fletcher. He is a Martial Arts enthusiast as well as an avid reader of books about Philosophy, he began writing short stories and also writes music reviews.

Website: Steven Petter

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