Around a quarter of people with eating disorders are men but eating disorder charity Beat says their symptoms can go unnoticed by those around them.
Beat is campaigning to raise awareness and understanding of eating disorders in men this Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2023 (27 February – 5 March),
A survey by the charity, the UK’s biggest survey to date on men’s experiences with eating disorders, has found that four in five men felt that raising awareness would help more men get treatment sooner. One in five of the men surveyed had never spoken out about their eating disorder.
Tom Rebair is a governor for Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) who has shared a blog about his personal experience of anorexia. He explains that misconceptions about eating disorders can prevent men from accessing help.
It can be very lonely being a man with an eating disorder so it’s important to raise awareness to make sure men know that there is nothing wrong with asking for help and speaking openly about what they’re going though.Tom Rebair
Tom says: “Awareness of eating disorders amongst men is improving but there is still a huge stigma around this – eating disorders are still seen as illnesses that affect girls and young women, not men and boys.
“I got a lot of stick from people who said I couldn’t be a man because I had an eating disorder.
“A lot of men might downplay their illness or make excuses. For example, I used sport to hide my illness by pretending to others that I was exercising because I wanted to rather than because I had felt like I had to.
“It can be very lonely being a man with an eating disorder so it’s important to raise awareness to make sure men know that there is nothing wrong with asking for help and speaking openly about what they’re going though.”
If you feel that you, or a loved one, is suffering from an eating disorder, please contact your GP for advice.
Our eating disorders self-help guide is available in a range of accessible formats. It can help you understand more about your own or someone else’s eating disorder, and what support is available.
People can also find a range of useful information and resources at on the Beat website.