The usual stereotypes about who experiences eating disorders are false, research shows.

The study finds that boys living in disadvantaged circumstances—not just girls from wealthy backgrounds—are at increased risk of disordered eating, particularly if they have underlying genetic risk factors.

“This is critical information for health care providers who might not otherwise screen for or recognize disordered eating in this population,” said Megan Mikhail, lead author of the study and a PhD candidate in the Michigan State University clinical psychology program. “It is also important for the public to recognize that eating disorders can affect everyone, including people who do not fit the historical stereotypes.”

The study published in the Journal of Psychopathology and Clinical Science, is the first to look at associations between multiple forms of disadvantage and risk for disordered eating in boys, as well as how disadvantage may interact with biological risks to affect disordered eating in boys.

Read the full article about eating disorder stereotypes by Kim Ward at Futurity.