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Home Industry News Gender bias ‘preventing men from seeking help for eating disorders’

Gender bias ‘preventing men from seeking help for eating disorders’

10th April 2014

A new UK study has suggested that a widespread perception that only women have eating disorders is preventing men from seeking help for these conditions.

Published in BMJ Open, the small study saw 39 young people between the ages of 16 and 25, interviewed about their experiences of eating disorders, in a bid to gauge the impact of gender on diagnosis, treatment and support.

Ten of the interviewees were men, all of whom said they took some time to realise their experiences and behaviours were potential signs and symptoms of an eating disorder – during which time these became entrenched.

Moreover, the perception of the conditions as women's issues not only led to the delay in realising what was happening, but also made them reluctant to seek help and created problems for them in getting the right support.

The researchers said: "Men may experience particular problems in recognising that they may have an eating disorder as a result of the continuing cultural construction of eating disorders as uniquely or predominantly a female problem."

Incidence of eating disorders is on the rise among men, with some estimates suggesting that males now account for one in four cases. These disorders cost the NHS between 50 and 70 million pounds.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801711626-ADNFCR

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