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Nutrition

Eating disorder facts

So, now you know about some of the myths, let’s move on to some of the facts.

Fact 1: Eating disorders are serious
Not only are they miserable to live with, eating disorders can be very serious. Research shows that people with eating disorders are more likely to die or to suffer ill health than those with almost any other mental health problem.

Fact 2: One in twenty people will have an eating disorder at some point in their life.
Whilst eating disorders are thought to be more common in women than in men, new evidence suggests that many men’s problems go unnoticed and that lots more guys are affected that was at first thought.

Fact 3: Men’s eating disorders are poorly understood and often go unnoticed.
Unfortunately, because of the focus on women, the problems men experience tend to be misinterpreted. Whilst some women’s problems grow out of a desire to lose weight, it’s common for men’s difficulties to start with plans to build muscle mass. Believe it or not, lots of the toned, beautiful, muscular guys you’ll see on the scene are struggling with eating problems.

Fact 4: If you’re a man with an eating problem it’s easy to feel like you’re on your own, but help and support are available: you just need to reach out.
If you need treatment for an eating problem then the place to start is with a trip to your GP. Not all GPs are good at spotting eating problems and some, rather sadly, believe in the myths so you may need to be clear with your GP that you have a problem and want a referral to an Eating Disorder Service. Your GP will then make the arrangements for you to see a specialist who will understand and know what to do.

Fact 5: There is support out there for men with eating problems.

  • Beat National charity which also runs support groups for men and women together, as well as providing online support. Helpline support runs 12pm–8pm during the week, and 4pm–8pm on weekends and bank holidays
    Helpline 0808 801 0677
    Studentline 0808 801 0811
    Youthline 0808 801 0711
    One-to-One Web Chat
  • Anorexia and Bulimia Care (ABC) Runs support groups for men and women in many parts of the country and provide information and other forms of support
    Helpline 03000 11 12 13| Mon-Fri, 9am–5pm

Eating disorders | NHS Choices
Eating problems | MIND
Eating disorder | Wikipedia

Eating disorder stereotypes prevent LGBT+ people getting help | Pink News | 25 Feb 2019
How body ideals shape the health of gay men | The Conversation | 6 Jan 2019
How being a gay man can make your body issues worse | BBC 3 | 6 Mar 2018
Nearly half of US LGBT+ teens have an eating disorder, says study | Pink News | 1 Mar 2018
Eating disorders in the LGBT community | Psychology Today | 7 Jun 2017
Men, eating disorders, and why gender matters | HuffPost | 21 Aug 2017


Gay men and body issues | Jeff Heimsath | 13 May 2011 | 3m 42s
 My battle with bulimia | Joel Wood | 9 Oct 2020 | 15m 43s

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