A new study shows that binge eating is just as common among men as it is among women and that men suffer the same ill health consequences, even though the eating disorder has long been associated with females.
Writing in the November issue of the International Journal of Eating Disorders, Wesleyan University psychology professor Ruth Striegel said, “few differences were found between men and women who binge eat.”
Striegel, the lead author of the study of 46,351 people, said the research showed that men and women who reported binging at least once a month were more likely to be depressed, obese, and sleep-starved. They were also less likely to be productive at their jobs.
But she added that one major difference detected in the study was that men often failed to report or seek treatment for their problem, which is why most researchers focus on binge eating as a woman’s health issue and rarely include men in their samplings.
Striegel said she hopes the study will encourage more men to speak up about their problem and more researchers to make every effort to include men in future studies.
Overall, the study found that 8 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women surveyed had tendencies to binge eat.