Eating disorders in adolescent boys and young men: an update

Curr Opin Pediatr. 2020 Aug;32(4):476-481. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000000911.


Purpose of review: To review the recent literature on eating disorders and disordered eating behaviors among adolescent boys and young men, including epidemiology, assessment, medical complications, treatment outcomes, and special populations.

Recent findings: Body image concerns in men may involve muscularity, and muscle-enhancing goals and behaviors are common among adolescent boys and young men. Recent measures, such as the Muscularity Oriented Eating Test (MOET) have been developed and validated to assess for muscularity-oriented disordered eating. Medical complications of eating disorders can affect all organ systems in male populations. Eating disorders treatment guidance may lack specificity to boys and men, leading to worse treatment outcomes in these population. Male populations that may have elevated risk of eating disorders and disordered eating behaviors include athletes and racial/ethnic, sexual, and gender minorities.

Summary: Eating disorders and disordered eating behaviors in boys and men may present differently than in girls and women, particularly with muscularity-oriented disordered eating. Treatment of eating disorders in boys and men may be adapted to address their unique concerns.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders / psychology*
  • Body Image*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / classification
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Men's Health