128% increase in number of men looking for eating disorder support

128% increase in number of men looking for eating disorder support

There has been a 128% increase in the number of men looking for support to help deal with an eating disorder.

The Bodywhys annual report shows there was also a 10% rise in the number of calls to its helpline from people affected by eating disorders.

Bodywhys, the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland, says the findings show it is not just an issue affecting women and young girls - and have welcomed the rise in men coming forward.

Harriet Parsons, Training & Development Manager with Bodywhys said: "Looking back at 2017, we are struck by the extent to which men and friends and family members used our support groups.

"The perception that eating disorders only affect women and young girls is simply untrue. International research shows that risky and extreme food and diet behaviours have increased amongst men.

"It’s not surprising that men need support, the fact they are coming forward is positive."

Parsons added: "Eating disorders remain complex mental illnesses, affecting a person’s thoughts, behaviours and emotional and physical health. There is no quick fix, but there is support and understanding."

The HSE estimate around 180,000 people in Ireland will experience an eating disorder at some stage in their life.

In January, the HSE launched a national model of care. for eating disorders.

For more information, visit the HSE's website here.

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