Binge eating is a real disorder for males as well

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Girls away at school 3x more likely to binge”
Oct. 16, 2007

To the editor:
It is wonderful to see The Gazette addressing real issues on campus. One cannot dispute the fact eating disorders are prevalent, especially in a university campus environment.

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is one of the less talked-about disorders, but it exists. In Tuesday’s article, Erin Barker said binge eating can develop into more dangerous problems, but it is not a disorder in itself. The National Eating Disorders Association of America and the Canadian National Eating Disorder Information Centre both beg to differ.

They estimate its prevalence to be one to five per cent of the population, and note BED often involves a lot of shame and embarrassment. Although other eating disorders may pose a more immediate health risk, consequences of BED include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and gallbladder disease.

Binge eating was presented as a female response to the university transition " actually, 40 per cent of sufferers are male. Society’s obsession with weight, food, and control is not limited to women. Let’s stop looking at eating disorders as a female issue, and instead see them as one we all need to talk about.

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