When the subject of eating disorders comes up, most people naturally think it’s a chick thing. But the latest research shows that gender is neither a predictor of—or an insurance policy against—body image issues. In fact, the number of guys worldwide who suffer from eating disorders is on the rise, according to Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention. “There’s a lot more pressure these days for guys to have a cut body than there used to be in the past,” says Ted Weltzin, MD, medical director of eating disorder services at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
While eating disorders in women typically reveal themselves in the form of an emaciated body, the look is different for guys. Males with eating disorders tend to be overly focused on exercise and muscle definition, says Dr. Weltzin. If you’re body-conscious—and you probably are if you’re on this site—ask yourself these sic questions to make sure you have a healthy approach to nutrition and exercise. If after answering these questions you're worried that you may be crossing into unhealthy territorry, call the National Eating Disorder Association’s Live Helpline at 800-931-2237 to help you find an expert in your area who can help.