Medical professionals are being urged to rethink the way they deal with eating disorders.
A UK-based support group, set up specifically to help men with food-related disorders , says globally the misconception is that they only affect women and teenage girls.
I think, typically, people assume that eating disorders are a women's only issue.— Sam Thomas, Founder, Men Get Eating Disorders Too
Sam Thomas set up the support service Men Get Eating Disorders Too, after realising the lack of support available to men.
Speaking to Cape Talk host Sara-Jayne King, Sam says even his GP was dismissive of his illness.
They just didn't recognise the issue of men and eating disorders. I felt as though I was a bit odd. I was trying to explain to the GP and it was like I was talking one language and she was talking another.
The GP's response was, basically, for me to take a high dose of Prozac and go on the waiting list for counselling.
Statistically, between 10% and 25% of those living with anorexia, bulimia and compulsive eating disorders are men. Sam says that the nature of the illness means that figure could be much higher.
Listen to the full interview below.