Study: Men Who Use Dating Apps More Likely to Develop Eating Disorders

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Male Eating Disorder

If you ask the vast majority of men on dating apps, they’ll say it’s largely a ‘numbers game.’ Though this can be taken many ways, dudes often receive far less matches than females, who tend to be pickier with their swipes. For those males who struggle with self-confidence or find consistent rejection debilitating, it doesn’t just bum ‘em out. In fact, it could cause a serious illness, according to a recent study at Harvard University.

Researchers were interested in the link between digital dating and eating disorders, and found that men were actually more likely to develop body image issues. As the director of FGCU’s Community Counselling Center, Dr. Alise Bartley explains, it’s a one-second decision that can make someone’s day… or potentially ruin in — and their appetite.

In the study, a startling 44 percent of women and 54 percent of men admitted to fasting before going out on a date in an effort to look and feel better. They also will tidy up their diet to an unhealthy measure to lose weight so they can take more flattering (and swipe-able) profile photos.

To arrive at these results, researchers chatted with 1,700 adults who took an online survey that asked about their habits in the last month. They covered plenty of unhealthy weight-focused topics, from vomiting after meals, using laxatives, fasting, diet pill use, muscle building supplement use and anabolic steroids. Those who were on dating apps had a 2.7 to 16.2 times higher odds of developing — or already having! — an eating disorder. African American singles were also more likely to have these struggles.

Though the instant gratification may be fulfilling for a hot second, Dr. Bartley says it doesn’t exactly bode well for intimacy. “Because an eating disorder is a really secretive disease, it is something that takes away the connections with your significant other,” she shared with NBC.

On the other hand, the more men celebrate exactly who they are — and aren’t ashamed of imperfection — the better they will become. Not only for a potential partner, but most importantly, for themselves. “If we’re taking care of our body, and we’re taking care of our mind, our body and mind are going to take care of us,” she shares.

If you feel like you may need help or your esteem is lacking, reach out to a trusted friend or physician ASAP. There’s no reason to hate your body just because you haven’t found love, yet. The right person, after all, will appreciate all of the wonders about you — and couldn’t care less about the numbers on the scale or how large your biceps are.

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