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Do men binge?

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Old 03-21-2013, 05:43 PM   #1
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Default Do men binge?

A lot of women on this site talk about binging. I have never binged. I just ate crap and a lot of it.

Do men binge? Or is it just our normal so we don't call it that?
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:48 PM   #2
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A lot of women on this site talk about binging. I have never binged. I just ate crap and a lot of it.

Do men binge? Or is it just our normal so we don't call it that?

I have wondered that myself. I think there are stages of binging. I have often after dinner foraged through my fridge and pantry for things to eat, when I wasn't particularly hungry, for no other reason than I was bored and "snacky", and proceeded to eat things from leftovers from dinner (pizza, etc.), chips, ice cream. Sometimes I would just go from one item to another to another. I never did it because I was depressed about something or because of any other feeling. That is just what I did sometimes. So, is that a "binge"? I don't know.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:58 PM   #3
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I guess it depend on how you define "binge" when it comes to eating and what that means to you... but if you're talking about as defined as an actual eating disorder my understanding is men make up about 10% to 15%, but they are much more likely to not seek treatment, so that might be an underestimate...
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:04 PM   #4
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A lot of binging comes from disordered eating that more women develop because they think they shouldn't eat in front of others.

Girls get these ideas of "not eating" and then what happens is that, of course, they get hungry and go crazy and binge.

And they hide it so that no one knows that they are eating. It starts a vicious cycle.

So far, men haven't had those same pressures to be skinny. Girls who are normal sized feel fat. SKINNY is the ideal. Boys don't try to be skinny. They try to be fit and buff, so they have different hang-ups.

BUT... I have met a man with bullimia/binging and purging. I had never, ever seen such a thing like it in my life. He had it so bad that he didn't even hide his problem.

He was a PhD student and he would eat in the residence hall dining room that I oversaw. He was a very thin, tiny man, and he had to be purging by the way he ate. He would grab a HUGE platter of food and stuff his face, get more, and more. He would be dunking sandwiches in milk, doing odd things with food to make them easier to swallow in huge mouthfuls. He would easily consume 4000 calories at a sitting. And it happened every single dinner meal.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:20 PM   #5
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So far, men haven't had those same pressures to be skinny. Girls who are normal sized feel fat. SKINNY is the ideal. Boys don't try to be skinny. They try to be fit and buff, so they have different hang-ups.
I agree it's not the same pressure, but it's not true that all boys don't try to be skinny. There are many boys and men with anorexia and bulimia (you mentioned one you knew). They don't ALL try to be fit and buff, perhaps as a sweeping generalization that may be true for many men/boys, but certainly not all.



And to answer OPs question, yes men binge. There are really very few things that only effect one sex and not the other. Like pregnancy, that I will concede is something that only happens to those with a uterus.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:26 PM   #6
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Yes, I was making a generalization - I should have been clearer in saying that fewer men feel the pressure to be skinny.

But they DEFINITELY feel the scorn of being overweight - few people escape that.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:36 AM   #7
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Hmm, interesting. Well first of all this is my spin on it based off some of the gender stuff I have studied, not an expert but an informed guess.

I feel like Men do not binge emotionally, well at least to the way women are perceived as doing. like Berry said women feel a certain pressure to conform to a feminine ideal and thus hide their eating habits which then erupt into a binge.

I feel, form what I know about masculine behaviors and just being a man myself, Men (or masculine identified people) "binge" out of boredom. its an "activity" like any other activity guys like to do. Its why I feel that as a man you exist on one of two polar opposites, those who eat or those who obsessively weight train/go to the gym. Men and women both have a pleasure button which is pressed when eating, its just guys translate that pleasure into something their more familiar with and that's the ceremony surrounding the act of eating rather than the emotional control that woman attach to it.

So no, men don't necessarily binge but if you widen the definition, grazing the food in the cupboard is kind-of the same thing.

Just as a side note, I will never ever argue that men can anything worse off than women when it comes to body image or social conformity. But an interesting fact is that Gay men have it nearly as bad. It would be interesting to see if A) there really is a difference between male and female binge eating and B) if there exists a difference when homosexual and heterosexual culture is factored in.

[Edit: Hmm, because I'm a nerd I think next time I am lurking around the library's journal database I'll see if anything has been written about this.]
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:55 AM   #8
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Well, one thing does stand out from this post. If I have binged (i.e. eaten a lot) I have done this comfortably in the company of others. I read from the above that women may be more reluctant to do this and I take that away.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:53 AM   #9
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Well, one thing does stand out from this post. If I have binged (i.e. eaten a lot) I have done this comfortably in the company of others. I read from the above that women may be more reluctant to do this and I take that away.
I have definitely done both. It depends on who I am with. If I am with family and/or close friends, I may not be afraid to over-consume. But there are certain things I that I used to do that I wouldn't do in front of others that I didn't know that well. For example, if I am at a party for one of my kids' school friends, and I don't know the parents that well, I will most likely limit my eating to a slice of pizza or two -- when I could easily eat 2 - 3 times that amount, and would if I were alone.

When I am at home, most of my "binging" -- if you want to call it that - happens late at night when nobody else is around. I'll graze through my pantry and fridge for more and different kinds of food. I wouldn't do that if others were there. I don't even really do that in front of my wife. I may snack on one thing in front of her. But I wouldn't go back for more and more.
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Started out at 405.5 on 7/31/12. Then lost 156 lbs to get down to 249.5 by 7/31/13. In the past year I have put back on over 40 pounds and reached a high of 291.5. But I have recommitted myself and quickly took off ten pounds by 7/31/14. I am now trying to take off the weight I put back on, and then lose the rest of the weight I was originally trying to lose. ---- Starting weight / Low weight / Current Weight / Goal Weight
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:34 PM   #10
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When I am at home, most of my "binging" -- if you want to call it that - happens late at night when nobody else is around. I'll graze through my pantry and fridge for more and different kinds of food. I wouldn't do that if others were there. I don't even really do that in front of my wife. I may snack on one thing in front of her. But I wouldn't go back for more and more.
I definitely do this too. I think the line from snacking to binging is crossed when the person feels a lack of control, i.e. keeps eating despite feeling very full and/or telling yourself that this is the last one and then going back for more... again and again. I've experienced both of these for sure. So, yes, I would say men binge too but that it often gets overlooked as people don't expect it.
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