An estimated eight million American men and women struggle with binge
eating, and while only about 10 percent of all patients with anorexia
and bulimia are men, binge eating is an disorder shared equally between
Binging is defined "as consuming large amounts of food within a two-hour
period at least twice a week without purging, accompanied by a sense of
being out of control." However, men are less likely to admit to binge eating, which means they're also less likely to seek treatment for the problem. An article over at The New York Times provides a little more insight to this.
Men who binge eat who don't realize that they have a problem end up never making the connection between binge eating and whatever emotional distress is urging them to consume as much food as their stomachs can hold. As you can imagine, this is a terrible cycle to be stuck in.
Chevese Turner who is the founder of the Binge Eating Disorder Association says that more men are starting to become aware of and seek help for binge eating problems. This generally involves cognitive therapy to identify triggers, as well as patterns of eating, exercising and sleeping.
However, the disorder has a relapse rate of about 51%, and therapy doesn't necessarily lead to weight loss. Experts say that the challenge with male binge eaters is to help them to come forward and admit that that they have a problem instead of pretending there's nothing wrong with eating until you're about to explode. We think comedian Louis C.K. describes it best: