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Stigma and stereotypes mean eating disorders in males is often not acknowledged

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Jane Sundried
Often unintentionally reinforced in sports, an unhealthy balance between exercise and food can be a symptom of disordered eating.

The condition is more commonly associated with females, but one in three Americans suffering from an eating disorder is male.

Eating disorders are complex physical and psychological illnesses, that take shape differently in each affected individual.

Sports and body perception are some factors that could be associated with eating disorders, but experts say mood disorders such as anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder can also play a part.

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) estimates "10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives."

"We've seen traditionally that males tend to get help when their symptoms are more severe, and some of that is because of the stereotypes associated with eating disorders and the stigma associated with males getting help for eating disorders," said Lauren Smolar, vice president of NEDA.

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