Today's episode of Dr. Phil focused on "Body Obsessed Boys," and one 15-year-old, eating-disordered teen male in particular.
Eric became obsessed with his calorie intake, not because of his fear of weight gain, but because he is obsessed with his body fat percentage. He wants to have a completely chiseled appearance, and is putting his family through hell in the process. What's interesting about how his disorder differs from our ideas of female anorexia is that some women tend to hide their lack of food consumption from their family, so as not to make anyone suspicious. Eric, on the other hand, involves his entire family in his strict diet, orders them to use separate silverware, hijacks portions of the fridge so that his food does not touch fattier foods, and forces his mother to cook according to his rules.
In related news, Reuters is reporting that more and more physically-active men are falling victim to disordered eating behaviors due to ideas that their athletic performance can be increased as their percentage of body fat decreases. ""Often he'll notice that he's getting faster and that his placement when he competes is getting higher and better," Dr. James L. Glazer tells the news agency. "That will change what is a good and a healthy dieting pattern into one that becomes a little problematic and dangerous."
Related: Eating Disorders May Be Rising Among Male Athletes [Reuters]