Eating Disorders In Males

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Based on the review of research the test can be continued to use, nonetheless there should be revisions made, and probably distinct items addressed to males. In other words, this assessment is in good shape to keep only because there is no better assessment available. Nonetheless, after following the review, it has been noticed that the problem lies deep within the diagnostics system. The assessment is valid and reliable for the decisions it is meant to be used. Where the problem truly resides is in the fact that DSM criteria have these sex biases.

This assessment fulfills the goals that it proposes and that is to diagnose based on the DSM-5 criterion. What this means, is that the problems that result from the sex differences in diagnosis, perceived in many of the referenced research, do not remain in the properties of this test but more on the DSM criteria and the fact that these are assumed for all sexes. Nonetheless it is well known that symptoms do present differently between sexes and this is something that this particular edition of the test should not be worried about. Nonetheless, the chance is that the next edition of the DSM will have changes being made and then new changes on the gold standard for eating disorders will change as well. From the previous editions, major changes have been in favor of extending the reach of the disorder criteria to men. One is the removal of an item on menstruation, clearly creating a barrier for the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa in male populations. The other has been the less strict criteria on low weight, allowing higher weights to be able to be diagnosed with this disorder. As we now know that males tend to have higher BMIs, this has served to extend the diagnoses. A specific change that could be made is to make two separate diagnosing criteria, one for females and one for males. This would give each the opportunity to reach the highest reliability.

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Adolescent males may engage in greater minimization of symptoms than females, especially in relation to questions about weight control, perhaps because there are fewer social constructions around weight ideals for males. The observed differences on social eating and eating in secret may also reflect the greater amount of socialization that females are subjected to in terms of eating habit. It is also possible that weight concerns are not as prevalent a feature of anorexia nervosa for adolescent males. This is consistent with the proposal that adolescent males with eating disorders are less concerned with specific weight and more concerned with attaining an idealized masculine shape. Shape Concern in this study may indicate that the quality of shape concern experienced by males differs than that measured by the EDE, thus resulting in lower scores on this EDE subscale. This is something that should be address by the psychopathology community but not so much by the EDE creators. A quick response would be, as proposed by a previously discussed article, to not include certain items as Empty Stomach and Shape Concern as it is well known that these have not proven to provide any insight on a male eating disorder.

The EDE may not be as sensitive to the specific expression of shape concern and perhaps other concerns, presented by males. Further exploration into the nature of eating disorders in male psychopathology is needed. These is also far more research being done on female samples and adolescents. Normative data for males is urgently required, as it is very likely that male scores on the EDE are lower than that of females, therefore are not comparable with the norms provided by the EDE manual containing only of females. For future research unstructured interview data is encouraged to avoid current biases on the portrayal of eating disorders and to start constructing the basis of this disorder in men. The addition of male-specific items could enhance the usefulness and reliability of this assessment in the use with this particular population. There is growing recognition that eating disorder symptoms are more common in men than previously understood. Muscularity oriented eating disorders symptoms are to be better studied in the future. There is evidence that indicates that muscularity-oriented body image and disordered eating in males have maladaptive attitudes and behaviors. Nonetheless, contained empirical work is needed for the understating of the onset, maintenance and treatment of these disorders and how they present themselves in men.   


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