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Approximately 10 million males will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life.

infographic Male Eating Disorder

Statistics on Males and Eating Disorders

Prevalence in Men

  • The rate of eating disorders among college men ranges from 4-10%. A recent study on a large university campus found that the female-to-male ratio of positive screens for eating disorder symptoms was 3-to-1 (Eisenburg, Nicklett, Roeder, & Kirz, 2011).
  • Large scale surveys concluded that male body image concerns have dramatically increased over the past three decades from 15% to 43% of men being dissatisfied with their bodies; rates that are comparable to those found in women (Garner, 1997; Goldfield, Blouin, & Woodside, 2006; Schooler & Ward, 2006).
  • In adolescent and college samples, between 28% and 68% of normal-weight males perceive themselves as underweight and report a desire to increase their muscle mass through dieting and strength training (McCabe & Ricciardelli, 2004; McCreary & Sadava, 2001).
  • In a 2011 study looking at how men are affected by binge eating, researchers found 37.1% of men who did binge eat experienced depression compared to only 12.6% of men who did not binge. Striegel, R. Bedrosioan, R. Wang, C. Schwartz, S. (Int J Eat Disord 2011)

Less Likely to Seek Help

  • Men with eating disorders are less likely to seek professional help than women. Higher levels of gender role conflict and traditional masculine ideals  are associated with negative attitudes toward seeking psychological help (Berger, Levant, McMillan, Kelleher, & Sellers, 2005)
  • Although the prevalence of binge eating is the same among men and women, the number of studies that include men is far fewer and the number of men who receive treatment is well below the number of women who get treatment.  Striegel, R. Bedrosioan, R. Wang, C. Schwartz, S. (Int J Eat Disord 2011)

 Media, Body Image Ideals and Eating Disorder Behaviors among Men

  • Men, while also influenced by our culture’s over-valuing of thinness, are often more concerned with a combination of issues related to weight, body shape and function (e.g. strength).  Generally, men believe they need to be both lean and muscular to meet perceived societal expectations. 
  • Media exposure to male body ideals as well as comparison of oneself to these ideals are positively correlated with the drive for muscularity in men (Leit, Gray, & Pope, 2002; Morrison, Morrison, & Hopkins, 2003).
  • The muscularity of ideal male body representations has increased from the 1970s to 1990s (Labre, 2005). These portrayals present an extremely, and largely unattainable, muscular ideal male body type (Lever, Frederick, & Peplau, 2006; Schooler & Ward, 2006), which is equivalent to the unattainable thin female ideal perpetuated by Barbie dolls (Olivardia, Pope, Borowiecki, & Cohane, 2004).
  • The increase in the sexual objectification of men in media images is documented (Rolhinger, 2002) and found to be related to body dissatisfaction in men (Arbour & Martin Ginis, 2006).
  • If an individual is taking performance-enhancing supplements to become more muscular and then engages in weight lifting, they are at increased risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. 

 Muscle Dysmorphia

  • Muscle dysmorphia, a subtype of body dysmorphic disorder, is an emerging condition that primarily affects male bodybuilders. Such individuals obsess about being inadequately muscular. Compulsions include spending hours in the gym, squandering excessive amounts of money on ineffectual sports supplements, abnormal eating patterns or even substance abuse. (Published online 1 September 2008 in Wiley InterScience ( DOI: 10.1002/erv.897)

Eating Disorders Awareness Week Tip

Exercising regularly has numerous benefits for both your body and your mind.  But where do you do draw the line between being healthy and over-exercising? There are many telling signs that you have unhealthy exercise habits, including:

  • You exercise for the wrong reasons. You ate a huge meal and feel guilty about it and the only way you can reconcile it in your mind is to hit the pavement and spend a few hours burning off the calories you ate.
  • Exercise becomes a compulsive behavior. You are often driven by body dissatisfaction or obsessions about your weight.
  • Your desire to exercise completely trumps your other commitments which can result in canceled plans with friends or even exercising when you are ill.
  • You feel extreme guilt when you miss a workout. You double your efforts to make up for it the next time you exercise.


If you think that you may have an unhealthy relationship with food, your body, or exercise, consider taking Ben Gordon Center’s free, anonymous online screening at or click the online mental health screening button on the right.  You can also call to speak with one of the experts of the Ben Gordon Center Special Programs team at 815-756-4875.

EDAW – Eating Disorders Awareness Week

downloadOvercoming an Eating Disorder requires more than giving up unhealthy eating behaviors.  It requires specific intervention in order to learn how to properly cope, identify, and manage emotions.  But most importantly, it is also about rediscovering who you are beyond your eating habits, weight, and body image.  Ben Gordon Center follows a multidisciplinary model that offers a variety of treatment options to tackle the problems of eating disorders, including:

  • Individual Therapy
  • Group Therapy:
    • Eating Disorder/Body Image
    • Emotional Eating
    • Family Support for Eating Disorders and Self Injury
    • Free Therapy
    • Nutritional Assessment & Counseling
    • Intensive Case Management
    • Return to Daily Living – an intensive treatment track for our patients being discharged from inpatient or IOP treatment, and transiting back into their daily lives; also used for those who are experiencing symptoms of relapse. 

For more information on the Eating Disorders program at the Ben Gordon Center, call 815-756-4875 and ask to speak to Fran Tierney or please go to

Be A Voice, Not An Echo

tumblr_mje8lthbmw1r97vsno1_500As we get closer to Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Ben Gordon Center encourages that you share your concern to your loved one who you think might have an eating disorder.  When you confront someone with an eating disorder, you begin to break down the walls of denial and secrecy and allow the person to accept help.  Be a voice, not an echo, to the person who needs you the most. 

Be honest and straight forward, and make sure you are not accusing them of doing something wrong.  Look into possible treatment options so you can provide them with the information and offer to help them make that first phone call.  

Community Support Helps Fight Substance Abuse

Check out link below for the great work our Prevention & Education team is doing out in the community.  They were featured in the Jan/Feb edition of InVironments magazine for all their efforts with DCP/Safe coalition.

 The Ben Gordon Center Prevention and Education program’s mission is to facilitate the promotion of community based prevention, wellness and healthy lifestyles for youth, adults and the community as a whole within DeKalb county.




Myth: Mental illness is something that only affects others and not us, our family, or our friends.

stop-the-stigma-of-mental-illness-e1381250784828Fact: An estimated 1 in 4 Americans have a diagnosable mental illness. Mental health crises occur frequently in your workplace, church, family, school, and community

You are more likely to encounter a person in an emotional or mental crisis than someone having a heart attack.  Mental disorders are more common than heart disease and cancer combined.  

The stigma surrounding mental illness often prevents people from seeking help or even acknowledging that they need help. And if they do want help, they don’t know where to turn. Mental Health First Aid equips the public to help persons with mental illness connect to care.

Ben Gordon Center Offers Mental Health First Aid Training

Thursday, February 27 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

DeKalb County Community Outreach Building

2500 N. Annie Glidden Road, DeKalb

Five Seasons Room $35 per person for training

(You will receive a certificate and CEUs are available.)

You will learn

–The prevalence of mental illnesses in the U.S. and the emotional and economic cost.
–The potential warning signs and risk factors for depression, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, and substance use disorders.
–A 5-step action plan to help an individual in crisis connect to professional care.
–Resources available to help someone with a mental health problem.

TO REGISTER or for more information, please call Michelle at 815-757-3488.

Did you know that we offer a Play Therapy Program at the Ben Gordon Center?

downloadPlay therapy is generally employed with children aged 3 through 11 and provides a way for them to express their experiences and feelings through a natural, self-guided, self-healing process. As children’s experiences and knowledge are often communicated through play, it becomes an important vehicle for them to know and accept themselves and others. This is thought to help them towards better social integration, growth and development.  For more information about the play therapy program at BGC contact Lisa Eaton.

 Spread the word about NATIONAL PLAY THERAPY WEEK, Feb. 2-8!

Check out the new, short video promoting play therapy.




Baby, it’s cold outside. Like really, really cold. So cold that weathermen around the country are throwing hot liquids into the air and watching it snow. Since winter brings unpleasant weather, many people find themselves stuck indoors, bored, agitated and resorting to activities like watching local news. This year, beat the winter blues and cabin fever by keeping yourself entertained with these inexpensive activities.

Fun Ideas For When It’s Too Cold to Go Outside

Playing in the snow and sledding can be fun for a few hours, but when it’s chilly and the weather is bad, many of us often end cooped up inside the house, proclaiming bouts of boredom and going through the stages of cabin fever. Here are few interesting ideas to shake the cold off and have fun when stuck indoors.  




Article courtesy of   AMERISLEEP BLOG