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Eating disorders in young males: moving beyond stereotype and stigma

Objective

To provide knowledge about the clinical presentation of eating disorders in young males (< 18 years).

Method

The sample comprised young males with eating disorders (n = 53) and females with eating disorders (n = 704). The data source was the Helping to Outline Paediatric Eating Disorders (HOPE) Project registry (N ~ 1000), a prospective and ongoing registry study comprising consecutive paediatric tertiary eating disorder referrals.

Results

Young males with eating disorders more commonly presented with unspecified eating disorders (40%). In comparison to young females with eating disorders young males were less likely to report self-induced purging, endorsed lower weight concern, and presented with an earlier age of onset. Young males and females presented with a similar duration of untreated illness.

Discussion

Young males with eating disorders are an understudied group who are systematically different from young females with eating disorders. Diagnostic classification, assessment instruments, conceptualisation and treatment methods need to be refined to improve application to young males.

This abstract was presented in the Service Initiatives: Child and Adolescent stream of the 2014 ANZAED Conference.

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Correspondence to Kimberley Hoiles.

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Shu, C., Limburg, K., Watson, H. et al. Eating disorders in young males: moving beyond stereotype and stigma. J Eat Disord 2, O54 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/2050-2974-2-S1-O54

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Keywords

  • Health Promotion
  • Registry Study
  • Treatment Method
  • Eating Disorder
  • Lower Weight