A 2015 research study by the UK Medical Research Council found that 25% of those with eating disorders are men, yet only 10% seek out professional help.
Why is this? Some suspect the stigma that comes with eating disorders (especially when it relates to men) is at fault. In fact, some believe that the number of men with eating disorders may be higher, but that it goes undiagnosed because of that stigma. But a few celebrities are trying to change this by speaking out.
“Many times I’ve wanted to reveal that I’m a lifelong anorexic and dysmorphic … I never have. I’ve always thought of it as a filthy secret … because I’m male and because I’m working class,” writes British actor Christopher Eccleston in his memoir I Love The Bones Of You.
Eccleston isn’t alone – actors Robert Pattinson and Kit Harrington have also spoken publicly about their struggles with eating disorders.
Robert Wilson, chair of the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation, believes that speaking out is important: “It does a great deal to help reduce the shame and stigma around male eating disorders.”
But experts agree that there is still plenty of work to do – “Much more needs to be done, especially within the professional field, to improve our levels of understanding around men’s body images and eating disorders,” says Danny Bowman, vice-chair of the charity MaleVoiceED.
Read more at The Guardian.