My role


GPs told to look for male eating disorders

GPs are being urged to look out for men with anorexia and bulimia following the news that the number of men hospitalised for an eating disorder has gone up by more than 60% in the last decade.

The Royal College of GPs is encouraging doctors to be on the look out for signs in their male patients. The RCGPs say that if doctors see a young man who is thin they are more likely to think that he is depressed. Diagnosis methods, which are predominantly based around females, need to be changed say the RCGPs.

Spokesperson GP Claire Gerada says that the rise in male eating disorders is because image has become more of an issue. 'Men are much more aware of their bodies, they are much more into dieting and how they look,' she said. She is also concerned that these issues can develop for young men while they are at university.

The Department of Health does not keep records which show exactly how many people have eating disorders. It only keep records of hospital admissions so it can be hard to judge the scale of the problem. But NHS statistics show a 66% increase in hospital admissions for male eating disorders over the last 10 years. The charity beat estimates that 1.6 million people have an eating disorder in the UK and that one in five are male.

  • Listen to MHF CEO Peter Baker commenting on this story on Radio 5. (The eating disorders piece starts at 15.20 and lasts about 4 minutes.) Also on newsbeat.
  • MHF report Untold Problems report has a section on eating disorders
  • More on eating disorders on malehealth

Page created on July 14th, 2011

Page updated on July 14th, 2011