Sunday, April 20, 2008

Thanks John

John Prescott is to be congratulated for speaking about his bulimia today in the Sunday Times. Sure it's a plug for the inevitable newspaper serialisation of his memoirs but don't let your cynicism lead you to underestimate the difficulty of speaking out about this. An older man with a young woman's disease.

But the former deputy prime minister is not alone. Thousands of men are experiencing eating disorders And numbers are growing. You can read the stories of several of them on malehealth.

Prescott says he's 'never confessed it before' because 'it’s such a strange thing for someone like me to confess to. People normally associate it with young women - anorexic girls, models trying to keep their weight down, or women in stressful situations, like Princess Diana.'

That bulimia is only about skinny women is a misunderstanding Radio 4's Sue MacGregor clearly shares as she quipped on the radio this morning that Prezza's battle with bulimia was 'clearly one he has lost'. Ha, ha. Well done, Sue. That's going to encourage people to talk, isn't it?

No, eating disorders affect men and women of all shapes and sizes. I think big John deserves praise not mockery. He's done some daft things that we can laugh at but this is not one of them.

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