Eating disorders highly prevalent among gays-Study

The aspect of homosexuality is often debated on grounds of being unnatural and on the issue of giving birth and raising children. In many societies the term is strictly taboo and against the customs and traditions of the society.

If the detractors of homosexuality have been voicing many of its demerits, here’s another one. Findings of a new study suggest that eating disorders are highly prevalent among homosexual men.

The study establishes that homosexual men are three times more likely to have clinical eating disorders vis-à-vis their heterosexual counterparts.

Habit disorders such as bulimia, binge eating, and anorexia affect 15 percent of the male homosexuals in the United States.

“Guilt and Shame”
Eating is a coping method for homosexuals, reveals Linda Santangelo, a psychologist. Such people may be eating more as they are stressed or are being discriminated against in the society because of their sexuality.

Troy Roness, an advocate for national eating disorders notes that the situation is alarming since there is no formal education on male eating disorders in the country. Gays have these eating disorders only because of “guilt and shame”.

In the society, an eating disorder is considered as a sign of weakness and not as a sign of masculinity and therefore the condition is not associated with males.

It is for this reason that only a tenth of males seek professional and medical help with regard to eating disorders.

“People do die from this. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental disease,” Benjamin O’Keefe, an actor and LGBT rights activist said.

The desire to have muscular bodies and low body fat is the other main cause of eating disorders in men.

Overall, 30 million people in the United States reportedly have a eating disorder. Of these, 10 million are men.

Experts term eating disorders among gays as a “hidden epidemic”.

But there is hope. “There are people who are willing to carpool on the road to recovery. There’s help out there. There are people who want you to get better and be the best you that you can be,” said O’Keefe.

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