Jockeys don't have control issues

Jockeys 'run risk of eating disorders' in bid to stay slim

Have you noticed that when men get eating disorders, or athletes of either gender, the conversation is a bit different?

Instead of framing the issue as a social problem, the tendency is to see the issue as just an episode of eating too few (or using too many) calories. Either way, the whole issue of "mental illness" and brain function is avoided.

I contend that there are more choices on the menu than 'social illness' and "scary permanent nutcase.'

I object to athletes and men with eating disorders being seen in a separate category from other ED patients. I don't believe Manorexia and the Female Athletic Triad are so different from what Boy Scouts and chess champions suffer from.

Can you suffer from malnutrition and not have mental symptoms? Yes. Can you suffer from ED mental symptoms without currently suffering from malnutrition? Yes. But when you have mental symptoms that perpetuate restrictive or erratic eating you have an eating disorder.

This particular parsing of illness serves to furthers the stigma for women and non-athletes. It leaves 'manorexics' and athletes at risk by not providing the counseling they will need throughout life to cope with a predisposition to eating disorder thoughts and behaviors.


  1. I also don't like these kinds of categorizations: men/women, athletes/nonathletes, etc. etc.
    It just distracts from what really matters when someone is dangerously underweight: restoration of full nutrition and weight in a loving, supportive environment. It doesn't matter whether the suffer is a jockey or a fashion model. The treatment is the same.

  2. Excellently reported Laura

    cq x


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