Boys Get Eating Disorders Too

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Manage episode 291781504 series 2125047
By Janet Allison, Jennifer LW Fink, Janet Allison, and Jennifer LW Fink. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Males represent 25-40% of individuals with eating disorders. That’s not something people tell us when our boys are babies, and it’s not something most pediatricians mention at well-child checks -- despite the fact that males are at a higher risk of dying from an eating disorder than females. "We have this notion that only a certain type of a person gets an eating disorder," says Oona Hanson, a parent coach and Family Mentor at Equip, an eating disorder program. But that's simply not true. People of all ages, races, backgrounds and genders can develop disordered eating or exercise habits. Unfortunately, because anorexia and bulimia have been stereotypes as "white girl diseases," boys who develop an eating disorder "are even less likely to speak up about it," Oona says. Like girls and women, boys and men face a lot of pressure to look a certain way. They are assaulted daily with images and messaging which implies that "real guys" are buff, strong, lean and muscular. Some turn to supplements, excessive exercise and disordered eating in an attempt to reshape their body. Symptoms of an eating disorder may include: Turning away once-favorite foods Obsessively reading food labels Attempts to manipulate body size, weight or muscle mass via food restriction or obsessive exercise "Sneaky" eating or eating in secret If you see possible signs of an eating disorder, "get curious," Oona says. Talk to your son about what you see. Listen to his answers. If needed, reach out to his pediatrician, family doctor or an eating disorders professional. Oona Hanson, Family Mentor with Equip eating disorder program In this episode, Jen & Oona discuss: Diet culture Boys & body image Weight stigma & anti-fat bias Helping boys decipher information about nutrition, diets and supplements How building boys' media literacy can improve their health as well Bigorexia What to do if you think your son might have an eating disorder How parents can unwittingly set their kids up for unhealthy eating habits - & what to do instead Boys' appetite & body development during puberty How ADHD meds interfere with hunger cues and eating Intuitive eating Why you should not restrict your son's access to Halloween candy Finding a healthcare provider who can help your son Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode: OonaHanson.com -- Oona's website Boys & Body Image -- ON BOYS episode Teen Boys Eat A Lot - classic Building Boys post Male Eating Disorders are Often Underdiagnosed - and Dangerous -- Tulsa Kids article Need Help? Check out these sites: National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association (MEDA) National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD)

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