MIDDLETOWN, Conn., Oct. 27 (UPI) — Binge eating is a disorder that affects both men and women, but men are underrepresented in research, U.S. researchers say.
Lead author Dr. Ruth R. Striegel of Wesleyan University in Connecticut and colleagues found the medical impact of the disorder is as damaging to men as it is to women, yet research has shown that the number of men seeking treatment is far lower than the estimated number of sufferers.
“Binge eating is closely linked to obesity and excessive weight gain as well as the onset of hypertension, diabetes and psychiatric disorders such as depression,” Striegel said in a statement. “However most of the evidence about the impact of binge eating is based on female samples, as the majority of studies into eating disorders recruit women.”
Striegel’s team used cross-sectional data from a sample of 21,743 men and 24,608 women who participated in a health risk self-assessment screening for obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, depression and work productivity impairment.
The study, published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, found out the 46,351 people questioned 1,630 men and 2,754 women were found to binge eat.
“The underrepresentation of men in binge eating research does not reflect lower levels of impairment in men versus women,” Striegel said in a statement. “Efforts are needed to raise awareness of the clinical implications of binge eating for men so they can seek appropriate screening and treatment.”