Refusing food to imitate rail-thin models is not a uniquely female affliction: male anorexia, or manorexia, is becoming more prevalent as men aspire to images of male beauty that are well-toned and fit.
England has seen a 66 percent rise in hospital admissions for male eating disorders. That number may conceal a larger population of bulimic or anorexic males who are unwilling to admit to an disorder that is stigamtized as affecting only teenage girls.
The pressure these days on guys to have the perfect figure is very similar to that which has and continues to affect women, a spokesman for England's National Health Service told the Daily Mail. It's all about losing body fat and getting a six pack, and it comes from the way the male shape is portrayed. That perfect figure can be a healthy body image for a man to aspire to; it is when it gets taken to an extreme that we see problems.
Male eating disorders represent largely unexplored territory for the medical world. The official tome of mental health problems, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, does not include a disorder known as muscle dysmorphia in which men work out obsessively without ever seeing themselves as sufficiently buff. A cultural bias may prevents its broader acknowledgment, as it seems to be largely limited to Western countries.