Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's Not Just a Girl Thing: John Prescott Talks About His Bulimia

Former U.K. deputy prime minister John Prescott has admitted that he suffered with bulimia for twenty years, a struggle he details in his forthcoming autobiography.

"I've never confessed it before. Out of shame, I suppose, or embarrassment - or just because it's such a strange thing for someone like me to confess to," he said. "People normally associate it with young women - anorexic girls, models trying to keep their weight down, or women in stressful situations, like Princess Diana." The reality is that men in stressful situations resort to disordered eating, too. It's just not talked about as much. The National Eating Disorders Association estimates that 10% of patients treated for eating disorders are men. But there are certainly many more men who aren't reflected in that statistic--men who are ashamed to come forward because of the stigma attached to having a "woman's problem."

We will echo the praise of many other eating disorder experts and advocates who have thanked Prescott for his honesty. Hopefully his admission will open the door for other guys who might be afraid or embarrassed to seek help. [Guardian]

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