People rarely associate eating disorders with male teenagers. However, a recent study in the US may challenge the belief.
17.9 percent of adolescent boys were extremely concerned about their weight and physique, according to Boston Children's Hospital researchers. These boys may engage in risky behaviors, including drug use and binge drinking.
According to the survey tracking 5,527 male teenagers from 1999 to 2011, about 9 percent reported a high level of concern with their body's muscularity, and about 2 percent had used supplement to enhance, including hormone derivative or anabolic steroid.
Researchers warn that eating disorders with males may not be noticed as their desires are different than females in terms of physiques.
"Males and females have very different concerns about their weight and appearance," says the study's lead author Alison Field, ScD, from Boston Children's Hospital Adolescent Medicine Division.
"Clinicians may not be aware that some of their male patients are so preoccupied with their weight and shape that they are using unhealthy methods to achieve the physique they desire, and parents are not aware that they should be as concerned about eating disorders and an excessive focus on weight and shape in their sons as in their daughters," Field added.