Pressure from peers and the media to fit physical ideals can lead to eating disorders for boys as well as girls according to research published in the British Journal of Health Psychology.
The study said: ‘While there has been considerable attention to factors predicting eating disordered behaviour among adolescent girls, much less has focused on adolescent boys.’ However, the study suggested that the levels of body dissatisfaction exhibited by boys and girls with eating disorders were similar, it added.
The authors told the BBC they wanted to look at what influences eating habits among male and female adolescents. Dr Emma Halliwell, social psychologist at the University of the West of England's Centre for Appearance Research, said that while it might be assumed that boys will react similarly to girls when faced with this sort of peer pressure, it was important to show it scientifically. She said: ‘Because there are rising levels of eating disorders amongst boys, we need to find out where we can aim our interventions.’More from the BBC.