Today researchers find that for every four females with anorexia, there is one male, and for every 8-11 females with bulimia, there is one male. (American Journal of Psychiatry) The majority of men suffer with Binge Eating Disorder and the majority does not get treatment until they have diabetes, heart attacks or other weight-related disorders.

Research is showing that for some people, some foods can take on an addictive quality. Following is the story of one man’s struggle with this disorder.

“At the height of my addiction to food I became unable to drive my car.  As my weight increased I was forced to recline my seat further and further back until the steering wheel obstructed my view through the windshield.  Showering was painful and challenging, therefore, I resorted to showering every other day.  Although I worked in a very small office it was extremely difficult to walk from my desk to the file cabinet without assistance.  My back was under such great stress that I was rarely blessed with a good night’s sleep.  Shopping at the Big and Tall stores was no longer an option so I started to purchase my clothing from catalogs for people with extreme obesity.  I was unaware of my waist size although it was bigger than 72 inches and my shirt size was a 10X.   As I became heavier I developed sleep apnea and often woke up feeling as though I was being suffocated.  At this point in my life I was 34 years old and the circulation in my legs had become so bad I had begun to look for a wheel chair.  I had honestly lost all hope of reaching my 40th birthday.  On July 23rd of 2005 I visited an eating disorder clinic that I knew had a scale that could weigh me.  I was devastated to learn that I was 522 pounds.”   

Growing up he never thought this would be his path. This started out so innocently as it does with many addictions. The general public is beginning to become aware of addiction, but few understand the connection to food. Yale has developed a Food Addiction Scale that is used in various research projects to provide scientific qualitative data. Some researchers have identified sugar as being more addictive than cocaine. There is a scale for sugar addiction for people who think they may have a problem. You can also find other people’s experience when they abstained from sugar for 5 days.

He shares his story in the hopes that other people will become more aware of this devastating disorder and get the help they need. If you or a loved one needs help you can get more information at Rebecca's House Eating Disorder Treatment Programs and obtain a free eating disorder assessments by calling 800-711-2062. This story has a happy ending.

“Today I can walk/run on a treadmill for 2 miles.  I can walk into any department store and purchase clothing off the rack.  I have amazing relationships with both family and friends.  Last July I married a beautiful woman who loves me unconditionally. I’m now 41 years old and I have been relieved of excruciating back pain, sleep apnea, depression, poor circulation in my legs, atrial fibrillation, and agoraphobia.  I’ve given away exactly 352 pounds!  I can walk, talk, and breathe all at the same time!  My body has healed from this self imposed illness of many years; however, I do have approximately 30 pounds of loose skin that reminds me of where I’ve come from everyday. “

For more information on Eating Disorder Recovery programs, please call Rebecca's House for a free assessment at 800.711.2062 or go to

Author's Bio: 

Rebecca Cooper is an international speaker who appears on television and media to promote disordered eating awareness. She is a licensed therapist, Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and the Founder of Rebecca's House Eating Disorder Treatment Programs ( She is the author of Diets Don't Work®( and many published articles. If you or someone you know needs help please call 800-711-2062.