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Posted On: 5th Feb 2018

Male Anorexia Exists

Ed wants to show that anorexia can affect men as well as women
Ed hopes his project will challenge stereotypes about anorexia
Jo Whitfield from BEAT supports Ed's campaign

'I became obsessed with calories. At one point you could name a food and I'd be able to give you the calorie content of it. 

 

'I'd hide food to make people think I'd eaten it, I'd lie about what I'd eaten, I'd wear certain clothes to hide the fact that I was getting skinnier.

 

'My whole outlook was completely warped by this obsession with control and I couldn't see how unhealthy I was being.' 

 

A young man from Bristol who developed anorexia when he was a teenager has launched a campaign to show that the illness doesn't just affect females.

 

20-year-old Ed Southgate is working with Fixers to shine a light on the issue. 

 

He told his story on ITV News West on Thursday, February 8.

 

Anorexia (or anorexia nervosa) is a serious mental illness where people reach a low weight after limiting their calorie intake. It can affect anyone of any age, gender, or background.

 

As well as restricting the amount of food eaten, they may do lots of exercise to get rid of the food they've consumed.

 

Ed says: 'When I was 15 things felt massively out of control in terms of friendship groups, schoolwork and family. That's when I started to develop anorexia. 

 

'Everyone always associates this illness with wanting to be thin but for me it wasn't about that. I didn't care how I looked, I didn't care how thin I was, it was all about having something to control.

 

'It started to spiral into this addiction of restriction. I would hide the fact I wasn't eating and I'd cook loads for my family. I went downhill quite quickly.

 

'Eventually my body got so weak it collapsed and that's when the doctors got involved. They realised it was serious and they had to do something, and that's when my recovery stages started.' 

 

 

Now in recovery, Ed is hoping to break down the stereotypes around anorexia. 

 

His campaign is supported by Jo Whitfield at eating disorder charity BEAT. 

 

Jo says: 'Some research by BEAT recently found that typically men and boys are waiting twice as long as girls and women to receive appropriate care for eating disorders. 

 

'Men do get overlooked and a lot of it is due to a lack of understanding amongst GPs. The stereotype is that it's something that only affects women and girls.' 

 

Ed adds: 'I just hope that I've shed some light on the issue of anorexia in men. I want people to realise that men do suffer with this illness as well as women.' 

 

To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.

 

Author: Molly Kersey and Lucy Thwaite

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