Media causing eating disorders among men, experts claim

The celebrity images presented by magazines and other media outlets are leading many men to develop eating disorders, researchers say.

The experts also claim that men who do have conditions such as anorexia and bulimia are undertreated and underdiagnosed because front-line health workers are failing to spot symptoms.

Academics from the University of Glasgow and the University of Oxford spoke to 39 people aged 16 - 25 as part of the study, ten of which were male. The findings suggest there is more pressure on men to have an "ideal" body image, with pictures of sportsmen, actors and male models the main sources of pressure.

The study's authors also highlight the potential problem of the men themselves not noticing their own symptoms. According to, this could be down to a number of misconceptions, with some of the respondents saying they see eating disorders as "women's illnesses".

Dr Ulla Raisanen from the University of Cambridge was quoted by as saying: "Our findings suggest that men may experience particular problems in recognising that they may have an eating disorder as a result of the continuing cultural construction of eating disorders as uniquely or predominantly a female problem."

Among the main symptoms recognised in the study were excessive calorie counting, obsessive weighing and going days without eating.