** BANK HOLIDAY SALE ** Get 20% off your order over £40 with the code MAY20 **

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2024 runs from 26 February to 3 March, and it aims to raise public awareness of these complex conditions. Over the past five years, there has been an 84 per cent increase in the number of people admitted to hospital for eating disorders and a 128 per cent increase in admissions of boys and young men. 

There are several theories about the factors that are driving this alarming increase. Rates of eating disorders have been rising consistently over the last 50 years, but nonetheless, there has been an upswing over the past few years. Some of this can be attributed to the disruption to mental health services during the Covid pandemic.

This led to a situation where demand was increasing due to the extra stresses people were under, while access to services dropped sharply. However, this doesn’t account for the rise in the number of men with eating disorders, which according to the charity BEAT is around 25 per cent. 

There is a common misconception that eating disorders only affect women, but this is incorrect; they are driven by psychological pressures that can affect anyone of any gender, age, ethnicity, or background. However, some men will typically focus on the drive to look lean and muscular rather than skeletally thin as some women do.

Due to the fact that most people associate eating disorders with a female trait, the signs that a man is struggling with weight or body image can be missed. Men with a poor or distorted opinion of their body can be prone to disordered eating and other mental health problems such as depression and low self-esteem.

Poor mental health can lead to other problems for men, including erectile dysfunction (ED). This is the inability to get or maintain an erection long enough for a satisfactory sexual experience. In older men, it’s more often caused by physical problems such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

However, in younger men, ED is often driven by psychological factors including body dysmorphia and low self-esteem. This can lead to relationship problems or cause young men to avoid forming intimate relationships, which can perpetuate the cycle of low self-image and depression. 

Despite the serious and devastating effects that eating disorders can have, men are often reluctant to seek help, and may not even recognise their own condition. Even when men do find the courage to speak out, they will not necessarily be met with much understanding or sympathy due to the outdated perception that men should be strong and in control.

Speaking to the Express, Beat’s chief executive, Andrew Radford said: “Eating disorders can be devastating, with anorexia having the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, so it’s vital to catch them at the first signs.”

“Everyone deserves treatment, and we have to break the myths that mean that some men still aren’t aware there is treatment for them in the first place.” 

“We shouldn’t learn about eating disorders only when we or a loved one become unwell or just hear about them affecting one demographic. It’s completely possible to make a full recovery, and it’s deeply unfair that so many men haven’t been given a chance to recover sooner due to our society’s lack of understanding.”

He added: “Men shouldn’t have to struggle in silence. Although there is still a lot of work to be done, society has made great strides in breaking the stigma around male mental health – now it’s time for eating disorders in men to be recognised and addressed.”

More men are speaking out, including the pop star Ed Sheeran, who revealed in an interview last year that he used to compare himself to slimmer singers such as Justin Bieber and feel inadequate. Sheeran said that he felt uncomfortable talking about the issue, but he believed that it was best to be honest to encourage other men to openly talk about it. 

There is no single driver of eating disorders: they are complex and thought to be caused by a range of genetic, social, and environmental factors. Body image is just one element of this. There is plenty of online advice about how to seek help for eating disorders, which are treatable and many people successfully overcome them.

If you are looking to buy Eroxon gel, please visit our website today.