Epidemiology of eating disorders, eating disordered behaviour, and body image disturbance in males: A narrative review

Deborah Mitchison*, Jonathan Mond

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)


Challenges to epidemiological studies of eating and related body image disturbance disorders in males include, in addition to low base rates and the predominance of residual diagnostic categories, the female-centric nature of current classification schemes and the consequent lack of appropriate assessment instruments. In this narrative review, we summarise epidemiological data regarding the prevalence and correlates of eating disorders, related body image disturbance disorders, and eating disorder features in males. Attention is focused on disorders most likely to be observed among males, such as muscle dysmorphia and muscularity-oriented excessive exercise. It is argued that, given the multiple challenges involved in research of this kind, a focus on features is more likely to advance the field than a focus on diagnoses. In terms of correlates, we focus on impairment and help-seeking, since these issues are most relevant in informing public health burden, service provision, and related issues. We end with some thoughts about current gaps in the knowledge base and directions for future research that we consider to be most promising.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Eating Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2015

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Eating disorder
  • Epidemiology
  • Gender
  • Help-seeking
  • Muscle dysmorphia
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of life
  • Review
  • Sex


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