Male Eating Disorders On The Rise

Eating disorders have often been thought of as a disorder among teenage girls. But increasingly, teenage boys and men are suffering from anorexia, or bulimia.

Patrick Bergstrom’s battle with anorexia started in college. A star lacrosse player in high school, Bergstrom struggled on his college team, and had a run-in with a coach. He began to doubt himself. “For me, I had a drive for perfection, in everything I did and when things broke down I wasn’t used to failure,” Bergstrom says.

He began exercising more and eating less, as little as 500 calories a day. “I was living off Starbucks, and maybe a piece of a bagel, and it just got to the point where I couldn’t keep that down,” says Bergstrom. Just like in women, anorexia can start in men during stressful periods of their lives such as puberty or during college. But of the documented cases, men seem to develop the disease later in life, and they are less likely than women to seek treatment.

Doctors once thought one in 10 anorexics was a man. Now that number is believed to be one in four.

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