Document Type

Article

Publication Date

January 2009

Journal or Book Title

International Journal of Eating Disorders

Volume

42

Issue

5

Abstract

Objective

This study examined gender differences in prevalence of eating disorder symptoms including body image concerns (body checking or avoidance), binge eating, and inappropriate compensatory behaviors.

Method

A random sample of members (ages 18 to 35) of a health maintenance organization was recruited to complete a survey by mail or on-line. Items were drawn from the Patient Health Questionnaire and the Body Shape Questionnaire.

Results

Among the 3,714 women and 1,808 men who responded, men were more likely to report overeating whereas women were more likely to endorse loss of control while eating. Although statistically significant gender differences were observe, with women significantly more likely than men to report body checking and avoidance, binge eating, fasting, and vomiting, effect sizes (“Number Needed to Treat”) were small to moderate.

Conclusions

Few studies of eating disorders include men, yet our findings suggest that a substantial minority of men also report eating disorder symptoms.

Keywords: binge eating, eating disorders, body mass index, gender differences

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