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Rise in young males with Eating Disorders

Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 23/02/2015. Rise in young males with Eating Disorders Tags: Parenting

Bodywhys, a national voluntary organisation supporting people with eating disorders, is launching an Eating Disorder Awareness Week with planned talks in centres around Ireland. New statistics from the organisation reveal there was 30% rise in calls to the Bodywhys helpline last year, and a significant rise in young males between 13 and 20 years old.

According to a report in a The Sunday Independent, Bodywhys psychotherapist and services co-ordinator, Harriet Parsons spoke about the rise in young male callers to their helpline. She told the paper:

"It's very important to get the message out that men get eating disorders too. It's not a gender specific mental health issue, men are just as susceptible and it's something we are seeing much more of,"

She spoke to the paper about how young males feel under pressure to have ‘perfect bodies’ and often want to become more ‘buff’, she said, "For a guy who is vulnerable or has low self-esteem, this might make them more susceptible to developing an eating disorder," she said.

According to Bodywhys, eating disorders are ‘serious mental health conditions that can affect men and women, at any age.’

‘Eating disorders can be seen as a way of coping with emotional distress, or as a symptom of underlying issues. It is a common misconception that eating disorders only affect women. The reality is that eating disorders affect both men and women, boys and girls.’

Visit for details of their events this week

For more on eating disorders please see our dedicated section on for all types of information for families and parents.


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