February 22, 2015
MHN Shines Light on Silent Epidemic during National Eating Disorders Week February 22nd – 28th
(Washington, DC) – Men are becoming more and more the forgotten victims of eating disorders. Sadly, eating disorders have a very real and very devastating impact on men and are often not talked about. During this National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (http://nedawareness.org/faq), February 22nd through February 28th, Men’s Health Network (MHN) is encouraging men to start speaking with their healthcare provider about eating disorders and to utilize the free online services available to them.
"It is undeniable that women in our culture often face great social pressure to attain an idealized body image,” said Jean J. E. Bonhomme, MD, MPH, member of MHN Board of Directors and National Black Men’s Health Network founder. “Until recently however, we have overlooked the fact that men may face comparable pressures to be lean, muscular, and ripped. Few men are can attain athletic physiques like Superman or Captain America, but too many will embrace unsafe dietary practices striving towards perfect body images. Eating disorders have become so common among men that the term "manorexia" is fast becoming part of the lexicon."
Although women are more commonly affected by eating disorders, millions of men and boys battle all forms of the illness. For years, it was believed that a very small portion of individuals suffering from eating disorders were men. More recent research suggests that the number is much higher. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) (http://nedawareness.org/key-messages), in the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some point in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating, or other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED).
While eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses, help is available and recovery is possible. It is important for those affected, and their loved ones, to remember that they are not alone in their struggle. Others have recovered and are now living healthy fulfilling lives.
MHN encourages men to use the resources available to speak to a professional about getting help. Men can get anonymous screenings at http://mybodyscreening.org, a program provided by Screenings for Mental Health and the National Eating Disorders Association.
NEDA Helpline: 800-931-2237 www.NationalEatingDisorders.org. (https://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/screening/NEDA).
Screening for Mental Health, Inc. www.MentalHealthScreening.org, provides innovative mental health and substance abuse resources, linking those in need with quality treatment options.
MHN provides nutritional brochures including Healthy Food Makes Healthy Kids (http://www.menshealthnetwork.org/library/nutritionparents.pdf) and Your Healthy Living Game Plan (http://www.menshealthnetwork.org/library/Nutrition.pdf) with nutrition advice for men. MHN also general mental health material for men, Your Head: An Owners Manual (http://www.menshealthnetwork.org/library/ownersmanual.pdf).
Men's Health Network (MHN) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation. Learn more about MHN at www.menshealthnetwork.org and follow us on Twitter @MensHlthNetwork and facebook.com/menshealthnetwork