Castlewood Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

Four Ways Men Avoid Eating Disorder Relapse

It’s a fact: men experience eating disorders, too. No surprise to professionals, but often minimized or ignored by the general media. Research on men with eating disorders is increasing. Part of this new research was a qualitative research study done to identify how men with eating disorders viewed their recovery and relapse strategies. This research took place in Norway and Sweden. Men taking part in the study were ages 19 and up, and had been diagnosed with one of the following eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and EDNOS. The four primary ways men in the study identified as relapse prevention strategies, were:
  • Eating on a regular schedule
  • Maintaining a steady weight
  • Keeping physical activity moderate
  • Avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol
These four approaches were described by the research participants as ways to “stay recovered”.

Should Eating Disorder Research Be Gender Specific?

The sample for this study was small, only 19 individuals. However, it is important to remember is that until fairly recently, research on male eating disorders has been sparse. There are many differences in the causes behind eating disorders in adolescent and adult males, as compared to females. It is essential that continued, reputable studies be done to help understand gender specific issues. It is estimated that 10-15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are male. Yet, due to the continued stigma, many of these men do not seek treatment. Research is a way to bring eating disorder realities and solutions into the limelight! Castlewood is a proponent for understanding the science behind eating disorders. We also support, and take part in, a variety of research projects on the identification of effective evidence-based treatments and relapse prevention strategies. How important is research on recovery from eating disorders? In your opinion, which is more important, research on prevention or research on relapse strategies? Learn more about the research study discussed in this blog, and share your comments! Keep the conversation going by commenting here, and then sharing your personal affirmations on Instagram using hashtag #WhatIsRecovery. Your affirmation may be what someone else is seeking as a guide in their own recovery!