Male Eating Disorders Up a Staggering 16% in a Year.
It appears that it is incredibly difficult for men and boys to admit they have an eating disorder issue as they think it is seen as predominately female affliction and definitely not “manly”.
With teenage boys, it’s even harder to detect particularly with Bulimia as their strange behaviour and possible mood swings can often be mistaken for normal teenage behaviour.
Figures from the NHS Information Centre showed there were 228 hospital admissions last year for men and boys suffering from anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders.
Incredibly these statistics we formed of 78 admissions for 14’s and under and 39 cases of those aged between 15 and 18.
These statistics have been on the rise in the last few years across all age groups as follows: 160 in 2007/8, 182 in 2008/9, 196 in 2009/10.
Charities have pointed out that they believe that these figures will be substantially more in reality as these figures only show people who have become so severely ill that they required hospital treatment. There will be many many more out there who are un diagnosed and suffering in silence.
There are an estimated 1.6 million Brits suffering from an eating disorder, a fifth of whom are thought to be male.
Sufferers often don’t realise that their behaviour has become habitual and detrimental to their lives.
Sufferers will weigh themselves several times a day. They can become obsessed with exercising hours every day in order to be able eat more.
Anorexics are desperate to keep their weight impossibly low and don’t see what others see when they look in the mirror. Bulimic’s eat huge amounts of food and then feel tremendous guilt for doing so and therefore the need to get rid of the food is overwhelming. They will then make themselves sick or take dangerous amounts of laxatives.
Mary George, spokesman for the Beat eating disorder charity, said: ‘We can’t say for sure that there are more men suffering from eating disorders now but there is certainly more awareness which means more are coming forward for treatment. There is more pressure on men from magazines with celebrities and male models to have that ideal body image.
‘But there’s still a lot of stigma and misunderstanding because the majority of eating disorders occur in females.
‘That’s why men are ashamed to come forward and admit they have a problem.’
Beat said former deputy prime minister John Prescott helped male sufferers when he spoke candidly in 2008 of his long battle with bulimia.
Bullying is often a trigger for an eating disorder in both men and women.
Support for eating disorders within the NHS is almost impossible and depends on where you live. Given that early diagnosis is crucial as is fast access to treatment, the NHS really need to get their act together in order to help and treat people effectively.
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