Anorexia is no longer a problem of only young women. Even men are now falling prey to the eating disorder -- courtesy the rising popularity of TV commercials and lifestyle magazines featuring trim actors and models.
In fact, a new survey in Britain has revealed that the number of young men being treated for anorexia has gone up by nearly 67 per cent in the last five years, leading newspaper the Daily Mail reported.
According to British government figures, appointments in hospitals for anorexia have actually risen by 32 per cent to 1,700 in the past year.
Some areas are worse affected than others. In Durham the number of anorexics being seen in hospitals has rocketed by 360 per cent, in South-East London the figure has risen by 246 per cent while in Yorkshire by 139 per cent.
According to health experts, the figure is just tip of the iceberg.
Susan Ringwood, the Chief Executive of eating disorder charity Beat, said the rise in male anorexia actually masked a much bigger problem because men traditionally "are less likely to seek help".
"There has been a rise in focus on the body aesthetic and that's affecting men as well as girls. Clinics are seeing many more men, as well as children as young as eight. We know children are more likely to develop an eating disorder during puberty, and puberty is starting on average five years earlier than it did 50 years ago," she said.
Consultant Psychiatrist Frances Connan said that it was doubly humiliating for men to come forward because mental health and anorexia were seen as girls' problems. "But men are now succumbing to the same idealistic stereotypes as women."