Big rise in male hospital admissions due to eating disorders

An analysis of NHS Digital data by The Guardian shows the number of men being hospitalised with an eating disorder has risen by 70% since 2011 | OnMedica


It reveals that the number of hospital diagnoses in male over-19s rose from 480 in 2010-2011 to 818 between April 2015 and March 2016.

The rate of increase was slightly higher among older men, at 70% for the 41-60 age group, compared with 67% in the 26-40 category and 63% among 19- to 25-year-olds. In the same period, there was a 61% increase among women aged 19 to 25 and a 76% rise among middle-aged women.

Dr William Rhys Jones, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ eating disorders faculty, told the newspaper that pressure for body perfection is on the rise for men of all ages, which is a risk factor for developing an eating disorder. “Images of unhealthy male body ideals in the media place unnecessary pressure on vulnerable people who strive for acceptance through the way they look.”

Read the full commentary here


Male eating disorders rise

There has been an increase across the UK of men and boys suffering from eating disorders, according to research by BBC Panorama | BBC News

There has also been a rise in the number of under-18s seeking help. But less is spent on services to treat people of both genders with eating disorders in Wales than in England, a BBC Wales investigation found.

The UK’s largest eating disorder charity, Beat, said people with eating disorders “deserved better”. Panorama investigated the scale of the problem across the UK by asking every mental health trust and board how many men were referred to eating disorder services for a first assessment. From those that responded, it showed in 2016 there were 871 referrals, an increase from 2014 of 43%.

It also found a 42% rise in under-18s of both genders receiving help in 2016 compared to 2014, as well as a postcode lottery when it came to waiting times with lengths varying from less than a week to almost a year.

Read the full news story here

NICE Bites – Eating disorders: recognition and treatment

This guideline covers recognition and treatment of eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, binge eating and bulimia nervosa for children, young people and adults | NICE

NICE Bites is a monthly prescribing bulletin published by North West Medicines Information centre which summarises key recommendations from NICE guidance. NICE Bites No 98 June 2017 includes one topic: Eating disorders: recognition and treatment. It includes the following sections: Identification and assessment, referral, treatment and management, anorexia nervosa, dietary advice for anorexia nervosa, low bone mineral density and anorexia nervosa, other specified feeding and eating disorders, medication risk management, health monitoring, diabetes.

NICE Bites: Eating disorders: recognition and treatment

New data shows work needed to hit eating disorder treatment standard

More than a third of children with urgent eating disorders are not beginning treatment within a week as required under a new standard, NHS England data has revealed | HSJ

  • New data shows two-thirds of children and young people with an urgent eating disorder had treatment within a week
  • NHS England data also shows nearly three-quarters of routine eating disorder referrals began treatment within four weeks
  • The data is the first published on children and young people’s eating disorders
  • NHS is expected to treat 95 per cent of urgent cases within a week and 95 per cent of routine cases within four weeks by 2020-21

Rad the full article here

Prevention of eating disorders: A systematic review

Khanh-Dao Le, L. et al. (2017) Clinical Psychology Review. 53,(4) pp. 46–58

Image source: Jasmine Parker – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


  • The review described 13 ED preventive interventions spanning universal, selective and indicated preventive interventions.
  • A bias adjusted meta-analysis is undertaken of 112 articles that evaluated eating disorder prevention interventions.
  • Promising preventive interventions for ED risk factors/ behaviours included cognitive dissonance, cognitive behavioural therapy and media literacy.
  • Combined ED and obesity prevention interventions require further research.
  • Insufficient evidence supported the effect of ED prevention interventions on pre-adolescent children and adults.

Read the full abstract here

Addiction to exercise

Hausenblas, H.A. (2017) BMJ. 357:j1745


What you need to know:

  • Addiction to exercise might form part of a broader eating disorder or may occur in isolation

  • Inability to stop or reduce exercising, for example in response to an injury, may indicate addiction

  • Treatment broadly follows the principles of treating other addictions, for example cognitive behavioural therapy and exercise reprogramming

Read the full article here

The stigma of eating disorders: which interventions might help?

Eating disorders are serious psychiatric conditions affecting up to 5% of the population over the life-course and bearing some of the highest mortality rates of all psychiatric disorders | By Francesca Solmi for The Mental Elf


It is not uncommon that in public discourse they are trivialised as disorders of volition; the result of media and peer pressures on young girls to achieve unattainable beauty standards. A case in point is last year’s comment by Baroness Joan Bakewell (who afterwards apologised for her remark) suggesting that to suffer from anorexia nervosa is a “sign of the overindulgence of our society, over-introspection, narcissism”.

In this context, a new systematic review on the effectiveness of different types of interventions to reduce stigma towards eating disorders by Doley and colleagues is a much-needed piece of research in an area lacking evidence.

Stigma-reduction strategies

A combination of educational and contact approaches was the most effective approach at reducing attitudinal, affective, and behavioural measures of stigma. No studies directly compared educational and contact approaches, but, overall, studies evaluating the impact of these two approaches individually did not observe improvements in attitudinal stigma after the intervention or found small improvement in behavioural stigma that, however, did not persist at follow-up.

Read the full blog post here

The original research abstract is available here