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The Wall Street Journal: Boys Have Eating Disorders, Too. Doctors Think Social Media Is Making It Worse.


By Julie Jargon

Eating disorders are on the rise among boys, say doctors, who think images and videos on social media are a factor.

Pediatric wards are seeing more eating-disorder cases overall, with boys making up an increasing share of patients. Cases with boys are often more severe than with girls, the doctors say, because boys’ disorders often go unnoticed until they are far along, and because eating disorders are largely believed to mostly affect young women.

Griffin Henry’s whole life revolved around baseball. From the time he began playing shortstop at age 7 in his hometown of Lee’s Summit, Mo., to summers spent touring the country as a teen with a scout team sponsored by the Kansas City Royals, he was focused on getting a full-ride baseball scholarship and playing professionally after college.

“I was a big dude. I thought that slimming down would make me faster, so I started running a lot and watching what I ate,” said Mr. Henry, now 20. He said he got a lot of his dieting and exercise tips from Instagram. “I put a lot of pressure on myself.”

Every day he checked the Prep Baseball Report app, which shows rankings of amateur baseball players and their stats, including their running speed. “I was always checking to see where I fell,” Mr. Henry said.

Half a year later, he was hospitalized and diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.

Michaela Voss, medical director of the eating-disorders center at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., said that before the pandemic, 1% to 2% of her patients were male; currently, 6% of her patients are male.


Read the full article via The Wall Street Journal

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