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Mental health: How body image pressure for boys has led to rise in hospital cases

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The number of boys being treated in hospital for eating disorders is at a record high.

In the last seven years, the number of boys going into hospitals in England, Scotland and Wales has nearly doubled from 235 in 2010 to 466 in 2018.

The figures are from the statistics agency NHS Digital.

Eating disorders are one of the biggest mental health issues for young people in the UK and while there are more girls going into hospital than boys, the number of boys getting help is rising much faster.

235 boys going into hospital increased to 466 in 2018

Health experts have put the growing numbers down to pressure from social media, but also more awareness about eating disorders may be encouraging boys to come forward to talk about their problems.

Experts are also noticing a condition called “bigorexia,” that is becoming increasingly common among boys and young men, influencing an obsession with muscle definition and body shape.

This year, for the first time, the number of boys being admitted to hospital has increased by 18.5% whereas for girls the number has gone up by 12%

This year, for the first time, the number of boys being admitted to hospital has increased by 18.5% whereas for girls the number has gone up by 12% (Source: NHS Digital)

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