What are the signs of an eating disorder?
When food becomes the most important thing in your life, it may be a sign of an eating disorder
. Whether you think you eat too much food, not enough food, or the wrong kinds of food, you're always thinking about food. Having an eating disorder like anorexia
, or binge eating
is not healthy and can be dangerous. back to top
Do boys get eating disorders too?
A lot of people think only girls and women develop eating disorders. But boys and men can develop them, too. In fact, 3 percent of teenage girls and women and 1 percent of teenage boys and men have an eating disorder. back to top
Why do some boys get eating disorders?
In many cases, boys (and girls) get an eating disorder because they are not happy with their bodies. Sometimes this unhappiness starts at a very young age. In a study of children aged 8 to 10, about half the girls and one-third of the boys were dissatisfied with their size. The difference, though, was that the girls wanted to be thinner while the boys wanted to be bigger. The important thing is that more and more boys and girls at younger and younger ages are worrying about their body types. As if you don't have enough to worry about when your body is growing and changing. back to top
Are boys who do sports more likely to get an eating disorder?
Unfortunately, some of the pressure to be the "ideal" body type comes from certain competitive sports such as ice skating, running, gymnastics, crew
, wrestling, and dance. Boys (and girls) who participate in these body conscious sports are more likely to develop an eating disorder. For example, a wrestler may be pressured to gain or lose a few pounds to fit into a different weight category for competition. back to top
How can I help my friend?
If you think a friendmale or femalehas an eating disorder, talk with an adult you trust. Although your friend might be mad at first, trust usyou're being a fantastic friend. If your friend does
have an eating disorder, he needs treatment. And, if he doesn't, the things you noticed about his eating habits may mean he is at risk of developing an eating disorder. Since it is much easier to prevent an eating disorder than to treat one, you've done your friend a favor! back to top