New research shows that there has been an increase in the number of men and boys suffering from eating disorders in the UK.
There has also been a rise in the number of under-18s battling eating disorders.
An investigation carried out by BBC Panorama found that 2016 saw 871 men referred to eating disorder services, which represents a 43 per cent increase when compared to figures from 2014.
There was a similar rise in the number of under-18s receiving help, with a 42 per cent growth over the same period. The research also found that waiting times varied across the country, with waiting periods lasting as short as a few days, or as long as a year.
Across the UK, over 470 eating disorder referrals were rejected by health trusts and boards, affecting men, women and children.
Eating disorders have the highest death rate of any mental illness and are believed to affect 400,000 men and boys across the UK, with 1.6 million sufferers overall in the country.
Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said health boards needed to be aware of how many people needed help.
“What we don’t want is a best guess approach to making these choices,” he said.
“Because that potentially means that we over provide or, given we think for men in particular they’re likely to under-report, that we don’t have enough provision in place for the need that exists.”
He added the mental health spend in England had not always found its way into the service.
Andrew Radford, chief executive of Beat, said: “The biggest concern we hear about is one of underfunding.
“People suffering from eating disorders deserve better than they’re getting, and they deserve more funding for resources and more priority for their problems.”