Though it is true that a larger proportion of eating disorder sufferers are female, the charity beat estimates that of the 1.6 million sufferers in the UK, one in every five are male.
Because the Department of Health only keeps records of hospital admissions and not the exact amount of sufferers there are in England, it is difficult to judge the exact scale of the problem. However, NHS hospital admission figures for England show that during the past 10 years, the number of male sufferers admitted to hospital has increased by 66 per cent.
As it stands, men of a low weight who visit the doctors may find that they are wrongly diagnosed with depression as the majority of diagnosis methods for eating disorders are based around females. In response to these findings the Royal College of General Practitioners are calling for a review of diagnosis procedures and have stressed that changes need to be made.
According to GO Claire Gerada, men are now much more aware of their bodies and how they look.
20 year old Ben porter from Kent has suffered with bulimia and anorexia since he was just 14 years old.
He told BBC’s Newsbeat that he was unaware of the damage he was doing to his body at the time and that he was more concerned with looking good and pursuing the perfect body image.
After receiving private treatment for his conditions Ben is now on the road to recovery, but stresses that he would like to see schools addressing the issue of eating disorders and body confidence in boys as well as in girls.
He said: “Male anorexia and male eating disorders are a severe problem and it needs to be addressed as not just being a female disorder but something that can affect anybody,”.
If you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder then please contact your GP who will be able to diagnose and help to treat your condition. Eating disorder treatment will often involve two parts, getting you back to physically good health and also helping you to overcome the psychological side of the illness. Sufferers are commonly referred to qualified counsellors and psychotherapists who will help them with the latter aspect, but another effective though lesser known treatment is that of hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy can be used to identify the root cause of an eating disorder so that it can be dealt with. In addition to this it is also a very effective treatment for eliminating negative behaviour patterns and improving confidence and self-image. To find out more please visit our hypnotherapy for eating disorders fact-sheet.
View the original BBC News article.