The pressure to look slim has meant that an increasing number of males in UK have been found to be suffering from life threatening eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.
An investigation by the Sun showed that NHS figures of hospital admissions for sufferers aged under 18 - released after a freedom of information request - have tripled in a decade.
AdvertisementThe numbers show 78 under-14 boys with eating disorders were admitted to hospital in England last year - compared with 24 in 2001, while 39 boys aged 15-18 were treated in 2011, as opposed to 15 in 2001.
Overall, 228 males were admitted last year - more than double the 108 in 2001 but the full extent of the problem is far greater.
The figures do not account for GP consultations and those seeking help in private clinics or the vast numbers that suffer in silence.
It is now estimated that 20 per cent of the 1.6 million people with eating disorders in the UK are male yet authorities still place a far higher emphasis on identifying female sufferers.
Last year it was found that boys as young as ten were falling victim to bulimia.
Doctors warned then that the true problem was "hidden" as many boys did not tell anyone about their illness.
Experts say growing scrutiny of male bodies in the media, fashion trends like skinny-fit jeans, and the need to post photos on social networking sites have helped fuel the rise in eating disorders.
The condition can also be caused by stress brought on by events such as exams or relationship problems.
Sufferers often develop crushingly low self-esteem and become withdrawn.
However, experts say the conditions are successfully treatable - particularly when they are identified in the early stages.
Most popular diets don't work - while non-prescription weight-loss pills and diet foods and products just as useless, according to a US study. Eating less fat, exercising more and using prescribed diet drugs were found to be far more effective.
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