More than 130 children were treated for eating disorders in WA last year as an increasing number of people were diagnosed with conditions such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating.
Exercise bulimia, in which people eat and then overexercise to burn off the calories, is common among men with eating disorders, according to Anthea Fursland, who runs the eating disorder program at the Centre for Clinical Intervention in Northbridge.
"With boys, it's exercise bulimia instead of vomiting," Dr Fursland said. "They will exercise it off, quite vigorously. They are burning it off too quickly and they don't have enough energy to sustain themselves healthily."
A total of 522 WA people were treated for an eating disorder last year, including 131 under-16s. Forty children were admitted to hospital.
Dr Fursland said only 10 per cent of the clients at the centre were men, despite research showing half of those with eating disorders were male.
"The men are under-diagnosed and even more reluctant to come forward," she said.
Julie Potts, director of Princess Margaret Hospital's eating disorder program, said she saw patients as young as nine.
Support organisation The Butterfly Foundation estimates there were 1828 deaths in Australia last year because of eating disorders, 515 of them men.The Butterfly Foundation support line is 1800 334 673.
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