Male Athletes and Eating Disorders

Male Athletes and Eating DisordersWhen people think of eating disorders, they may think strictly of women—models, dancers, gymnasts and more. Few people may think of male athletes battling this disorder, but the truth of the matter is that, despite the stigma surrounding eating disorders in women, the rate of male athletes struggling with food has risen and is developing into a troubling problem.

Most Common Athletes with Eating Disorders

Male atheletes in the following sports commonly develop eating disorders:

  • Runners may experience anorexia as they strive to be the faster and lighter.
  • Wrestlers and fighters weigh in before each bout to ensure they are within the same weight class as they are designated. Many wrestlers can be at the top or bottom of their weight class, forcing them to either eat large amounts or none at all, which can quickly develop into bulimia or anorexia.
  • Football players who battle an eating disorder generally struggle with binge eating as they must maintain a certain weight for their position.

The pressures on these male athletes can be enormous, especially if they believe they will not maintain their position if they do not keep a certain appearance. These pressures can pose incredibly dangerous health risks as these athletes are not nourishing themselves properly.

Dangers of Eating Disorders in Athletes

If a male athlete struggles with an eating disorder, he can expect any of the following problems:

  • Risks such as passing out are greatly troubling. Whether on a track or field, these men put themselves at risk (as well as others) for succumbing to their illness and losing consciousness, potentially falling and injuring themselves or others.
  • Long-term risks. Putting your body in overdrive without nourishing it properly can leave it without the correct nutrients to keep from breaking down. If an athlete continues pushes his body past its limit without eating properly, his heart, muscles and other organs can suffer extreme damage that can be life threatening.

While men are increasingly developing eating disorders, it is important for sports figures and those in charge to learn the warning signs of eating disorders and how to handle them effectively. Male athletes must feel comfortable talking with their coaches about the pressures of their job without feeling like they will be viewed as weak. Both the coaches and the athletes need to work together to decrease the instances of eating disorders in their sports.

Help for a Male Athlete Dealing with an Eating Disorder

Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline today to get the help you need to get your eating disorder under control. Do not wait as we can connect you with professional resources.