9 May 2016

RCGP Comment on Eating Disorders in Males

RCGP spokesperson, Dr Clare Taylor, responded to a BBC Newsbeat story on eating disorders and its prevalence in males compared to females.

Dr Clare Taylor, spokesperson for the Royal College of GPs, said: “Eating disorders can lead to dangerous consequences for our patients, their families and carers, and research suggests that they are more prevalent in women compared to men.
“For every 10 patients suffering with anorexia or bulimia, statistics suggest that only one will be male, but this could be considerably higher as exact and current figures are lacking – and there may be more focus on identifying women with eating disorders than men. 
“Early identification is important and it is vital that we look out for the potential signs which indicate an eating disorder in men as well as women. 
“GPs are trained to identify these symptoms and help our patients to discuss difficult issues, but there is also a need for a greater awareness in society  to be able to recognise eating disorders in males.
“Schools, universities and employers need to be aware of these signs – which include excessive dieting or trips to the gym, eating large amounts of food, the use of laxatives and obsessions around weight and appearance.  
“GPs need more time with their patients but we are already working harder than ever to cope with soaring demand and patients presenting with multiple and chronic conditions.
“We are sure that NHS England’s GP Forward View is a step in the right direction and if implemented effectively, we are confident that the proposals will provide the level of investment we need in general practice to be able to deliver the care our patients, including those with eating disorders and other mental health issues, need and deserve.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.