Males assessed by a specialized adult eating disorders service: Patterns over time and comparisons with females

Int J Eat Disord. 2008 Dec;41(8):758-61. doi: 10.1002/eat.20553.


Objective: In view of previous inconsistencies and the limited literature on males with eating disorders, we aimed to examine changes in presentation rates over time and any differences between males and females.

Method: In a cohort of 2,554 new patients assessed by a specialized service for adults over a 21-year period, we examined rates by gender over time. We also carried out a detailed comparison of selected clinical and demographic variables on a series of 65 males and females matched by diagnosis and date of assessment.

Results: Approximately 5% of patients were male and there was no evidence of a change in presentation rate by gender over time. Males were more likely to be diagnosed as not having a clinical eating disorder and less likely to abuse laxatives, but otherwise there was little difference in clinical presentation.

Conclusion: Eating disorders continue to present predominantly in females and the proportion of males remains broadly stable.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Time Factors