Life in Balance

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Eating Disorders: Affecting Not Just Women

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Bulimia, anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders, long thought to be serious problems for many women, are showing up among surprisingly large numbers of men, some of whom are starving themselves or exercising obsessively to look like the pictures in men’s magazines.

Yet neither men themselves, nor most doctors, think of males as being at risk for these illnesses, experts say.

Community-based studies suggest one case in three of anorexia nervosa is a male, said Dr. Blake Woodside, director of the program for eating disorders at Toronto General Hospital. For bulimia, it is about one in four.

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