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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 than 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.

National charity which also runs support groups for men and women together, as well as providing online support.
Beat 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.
Anorexia and Bulimia Care (ABC)
Helpline 03000 11 12 13| Mon-Fri, 9am–5pm

Over Eaters Anonymous
Fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength and hope, are recovering from compulsive overeating. Welcomes everyone who wants to stop eating compulsively. The OA Programme is based on the twelve-step recovery programme of Alcoholics Anonymous. In OA we admit that we are powerless over food and cannot manage our eating behaviours alone. In OA we find others who can help us to find a saner and more beneficial way to deal with our eating problems and our living problems. There is no 'charge' for attending an OA meeting. However, the meetings do have to pay rent to the venue in which they meet and pay for other expenses such as literature, tea, coffee and supporting the various service boards and committees, which help OA to function and reach new members.
Over Eaters Anonymous


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


Some English patients with eating disorders sent to Scotland for treatment | The Guardian | 12 Sep 2023
New research shows eating disorder stereotypes prevent people finding help | BEAT | No date
Over 100,000 gay or bisexual men in the UK living with an eating disorder | Pink News | 23 Jul 2022
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

Eating disorders in the LGBT community: Coming Out Twice documentary | Pink News | 23 Jul 2019 | 11m 32s
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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