Male eating disorder numbers on the up

There is currently an increasing number of men suffering from eating disorders in the UK, it has been claimed. The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) stated doctors need to be more aware of the rising problem and to not only associate the issue with women, the BBC reports.

According to the NHS, the past decade has witnessed a 66 per cent jump in hospital admissions in England due to poor eating habits among men.

A spokesperson for the RCGP said: "If doctors see a young man who is thin, they are more likely to think that he is depressed."

GP Claire Gerada noted the issue has become more widespread as pressure has increased on men regarding their physical appearance.

She explained males are much more aware of their bodies and are keen to diet in an effort to lose weight.

Dr Michael Sinclair, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "These reports do not surprise me at all. We have seen an increase in the number of men suffering from eating disorders presenting at our London based clinics for psychological treatment. Although the majority of these men speak openly about their eating difficulties, a large amount still do not initially report their preoccupation with food, body weight and appearance; as they may fear being judged as 'vain or too girly'. 

"Men are under a tremendous amount of pressure these days to conform to what they believe the ideal body weight and appearance is. The media and the portrayal of celebrity figures have a significant role to play in this problem. Male social success is increasingly and strongly associated with bodily appearance and the message that an 'imperfect body' amounts to an 'imperfect person' is understandably too often taken away."