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Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2014 Nov;27(6):426-30. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000113.

A review of eating disorders in males.

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aDepartment of Public Health, Hjelt Institute, University of Helsinki bDepartment of Adolescent Psychiatry, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki cInstitute of Clinical Medicine, Child Psychiatry, University Of Turku, Turku dDepartment of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland eParnassia Psychiatric Institute, The Hague fDepartment of Psychiatry, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands gDepartment of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, USA.



Research in eating disorders in males has been active lately compared to the past. This review aims to provide an overview of the recently published studies of eating disorders in males.


Publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition has outlined more sex-neutral diagnostic criteria for eating disorders. Data of socioeconomic factors, prenatal influences, clinical characteristics, assessment, and mortality for eating disorders have been reported independently for males. Unlike in females, higher parental education showed no association with eating disorders in males, but twin or triplet status and lower gestational age at birth had an independent association with anorexia nervosa in males. Contrary to earlier suggestions, no differences in eating disorder symptoms such as binging, vomiting, or laxative abuse were observed between the sexes. Yet, males tended to score lower on eating disorder symptom measures than females. High rates of premorbid overweight and higher BMIs at various stages of eating disorders have been confirmed repeatedly. Higher age and lower BMI at admission, and restrictive anorexia nervosa subtype predicted fatal outcome for anorexia nervosa in males.


Contemporary research provides grounds for improved recognition, diagnosis, and treatment for males suffering from eating disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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