Categories
Body icon
Body
We celebrate all shapes and sizes because we see nothing but beauty.
View Topic
Life icon
Life
GR8NESS isn’t something you do; it’s how you live.
View Topic
Mind icon
Mind
Infuse mindfulness and awareness into everything you do.
View Topic
Self Care icon
Self Care
Refresh, renew, and reconnect with your inner self to nurture your wellbeing.
View Topic
Soul icon
Soul
Connect with all of humanity and discover your true self.
View Topic
Body
We celebrate all shapes and sizes because we see nothing but beauty.
View More
Categories
A life in motion is a life well lived. Move. Discover. Grow.
View Topic
True health lies in finding the perfect balance of mind, body, and spirit.
View Topic
Chronic pain can be debilitating. Regain control of your body and mind.
View Topic
Remedies sourced from nature help heal pains, both seen and unseen.
View Topic
Feed your body properly and you’ll nurture more than just the physical.
View Topic
Life
GR8NESS isn’t something you do; it’s how you live.
View More
Categories
Ease the way you move through life with simplicity and intelligence.
View Topic
Strengthening your relationships helps you celebrate who you’ve become.
View Topic
Raising children is the job of a lifetime. And you never get to retire.
View Topic
Our planet is a marvelous gift. Become the change the world needs by helping it heal.
View Topic
They’re an extended part of your family. Care for them the way they deserve.
View Topic
Mind
Infuse mindfulness and awareness into everything you do.
View More
Categories
While you cannot escape the stresses of life, you can find shelter inside yourself.
View Topic
Calming anxiety, easing depression, and discovering peace of mind are within your grasp.
View Topic
Everyday tools, training, and techniques to convince your brain it can be so much more.
View Topic
From mantras for self-love to changing the way you look at wellness.
View Topic
category alt tag
Self Care
Refresh, renew, and reconnect with your inner self to nurture your wellbeing.
View More
Categories
The journey of self-discovery is never-ending. Embrace your journey.
View Topic
Feeling good about your outside impacts how you feel about your inside. Feel beautiful both ways.
View Topic
Soul
Connect with all of humanity and discover your true self.
View More
Categories
Dive into your practice and experience something new every day. Give your mind some space to grow.
View Topic
Feed your mind with powerful positive statements to help you believe in yourself.
View Topic
In a fast-paced world, sometimes the best thing you can do is to breathe.
View Topic
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by Max Muselmann / Unsplash 
410 Views
4 Min Read Time
0 Shares

Shedding Light on Eating Disorders

GR8NESS RATING
4
gr8 vote
GR8
0
meh vote
MEH
0
pass vote
PASS

To this day, most of us still associate eating disorders with young women, more specifically heterosexual, white young women. However, at least 30 million people of all ages and gender struggle with eating disorders in the US. It’s time to shed light on eating disorders and include all of those in the conversation. Otherwise, we’re not talking about the issue at hand.

What’s Considered an Eating Disorder?

Eating disorders are mental health conditions that cause an obsession with body weight, food, or body shape. Such disorders can arise from a variety of reasons, including genetics. Other studies suggest eating disorders are the result of cultural preferences and pressure. Recently, research has also found a connection between levels of serotonin and dopamine affecting brain structure.

Some common eating disorders include:

Anorexia nervosa – people who limit their food intake to prevent weight gain, even when they’re severely underweight.

Bulimia nervosa – people who devour large amounts of foods to purge later. They also have a fear of weight gain despite being at an average weight.

Binge eating disorder – people who binge regularly and consume a large amount of foods. They don’t purge.

However, there are other types of eating disorders that are not talked about so often:

Pica – people who eat things that are not considered food.

Rumination disorder – people who regurgitate food they’ve swallowed, then chew it again and either swallow it or spit it out.

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder – people who under-eat either because of a lack of interest in food or an intense distaste for certain foods.

Shedding Light on Male Eating Disorders

Despite common belief, eating disorders affect men as well. In the United States, eating disorders will affect 10 million males at some point. However, men are less likely to seek treatment for eating disorders.

Unfortunately, due to men not speaking up about their struggles with eating disorders, statistics are mere estimates. The National Association of Males with Eating Disorders believes that between 25 to 40 percent of people with eating disorders are men. Around 67% of those diagnosed with avoidant restrictive food disorders are men.

Muscle Dysmorphia in Men

One of the most common eating disorders linked to men is muscle dysmorphia, previously known as reverse anorexia. In this case, men are not looking to be thinner. Instead, they’re looking to build more muscle and appear bigger, so they can fit into the traditional stereotypes of the ideal male body. One study found that almost 53 percent of bodybuilders have body dysmorphia.

Sexual Orientation in Men

Most people believe most men with eating disorders are homosexual. There’s one study often cited from 2007 that says a higher percentage of homosexual men are diagnosed with anorexia. However, one study found little to no connection between sexual orientation and the prevalence of eating disorders.

LGBTQIA+ people might have a predisposition to eating disorders linked to the stress of not being accepted by their families and communities, according to the National Eating Disorders Association.

Eating Disorders at Midlife

Another myth that has been proven wrong by science is that eating disorders only affect younger individuals. In a recent study, researchers found that over 15 percent of women in their 40s and 50s met the criteria for a lifetime eating disorder.

Another study found that older women and men were the larger populations struggling with common eating disorders:

Binge eating disorder – the 45-59 group, had the highest prevalence.

Bulimia nervosa – the 30-44 and 45-59 age groups had the highest prevalence.

Racism around the Eating Disorder Conversations

Unfortunately, the black population is often not included in the conversation around eating disorders. However, according to various studies, black teenagers are 50% more likely than white teenagers to struggle with eating disorders, including bulimia, purging, and binging.

The issue expands society standards, as even clinicians don’t seem to associate eating disorders with black women. In the same study, 44% of clinicians identified eating behaviors as problematic in white women, while only 17% identified the issue as questionable in black women.

There’s no research to determine what causes higher rates in black women. However, it could be a combination of environmental stress, multiple traumas, and lack of professional help.

A Note from GR8NESS

The conversation about eating disorders is an ever-evolving one. Most people who struggle with eating disorders don’t look like they have one. Overweight individuals might be struggling with a binge eating disorder. Some people with bulimia manage to maintain a healthy weight yet continue to have bulimic behaviors.

Keep your eyes open for signs of an eating disorder. Be open about your struggles if that’s your case. Be receptive to other’s struggles. Don’t judge. End the stigma. And most importantly, speak up and seek help, eating disorders don’t have to be a death sentence.

GR8NESS RATING
4
gr8 vote
GR8
0
meh vote
MEH
0
pass vote
PASS
Geraldine
GR8NESS Writer
Geraldine is a GR8NESS Contributing Editor who writes about self care, clean makeup and beauty, mental health, and relationships – as well as natural remedies and fitness. She’s a coffee enthusiast with Venezuelan roots, a former ballerina, and the sunscreen patrol. Most of the time, you can find her working on her skincare routine or trying a new dance workout.
Learn More
Related Articles
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by Charles Deluvio / Shutterstock

How Working from Home Affects Your Mental Health

Working from home affects each person differently. As the world climate changes more individuals are working remotely than ever before, some without knowing when they'll be back in the office. Major companies including Twitter, Facebook, Square, and Google state that employees can remain working remotely indefinitely, or at least for...
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by GaudiLab / Shutterstock

Coping with Post-Lockdown Anxiety

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were forced into confinement like never before–carving out workspaces in our bedrooms or living rooms, homeschooling our children, and socially distancing from pretty much everyone. At that time, we were feeling confused and anxious about the "new normal," what it meant, how it was...
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by Goran Petric / Shutterstock

Turning Off the News May Benefit Your Mental Health

I've always considered myself a very in-the-know type of person. Every morning I wake up, check my e-mails, my social media feeds, and then I check out what the major news outlets are saying. I even have a paid subscription to several online newspapers. Six months ago I would have...
GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Image by Daniel Patrick Martin / Shutterstock

Mental Health Professionals Are Using Psychedelic Drugs in Treatments

Innovations in the mental health space seem to be shifting with societal changes. As society continues to evolve, stigmas are disappearing, and how we study and treat the mind adopts these changes. Today, mental health is more of a conversation than ever before. People are becoming more conscious of their...
The URL has been copied