Rise in male eating disorders

The pressure to be thin is causing more men to develop eating disorders, say experts

There has been a 66 per cent increase in the number of hospital admissions in England for male eating disorders over the past ten years, according to NHS figures.

The Royal College of General Practitioners warn that we need to become more vigilant towards this issue since it is normally seen as a female problem and men tend not to admit they are suffering.

‘Men are much more reluctant to talk about these issues or admit there is a problem,’ says a spokesperson for eating disorder charity, Beat. ‘There’s a stigma about it – it is seen as a teenage girl’s disease, but eating disorders are serious psychological conditions which can kill.’

Ben Porter, 20, from Kent, has battled anorexia and bulimia since he was 14. ‘I didn’t realise what I was doing to myself and my body at the time,’ he says. ‘The point was to look good and pursue a perfect image but I was doing the opposite.

‘I felt very inadequate about the way I looked and I wasn’t fitting into school,’ Ben told the BBC.

Beat estimates that there are currently 1.6 million people in the UK suffering from an eating disorder, and one in five of those sufferers is male.

‘Sufferers can become obsessed with their weight or they can obsess over exercise and how many calories they are eating,’ says Beat.

‘The pressure these days on guys to have the perfect figure is very similar to that which has and continues to affect women.’

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