July 12, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
At Life Works – one of Europe’s leading addiction treatment centres (, it is seeing a growing trend in the relatively un-noticed disorder of bulimia amongst men.

Although eating disorders are generally associated with body-conscious teenage girls, thousands of men have this disorder and the number is growing. Eating disorders can kill and this is of great concern as it often harder for both men and the health professionals to recognise that a man has this problem and treatment can be delayed.

A sequence of difficult events can often trigger the start of eating disorders amongst males. Problems with food can often begin with times of loneliness, boredom, anxiety, family crisis, bullying, low self-esteem and a combination of many factors. Although there is less cultural pressure on males to be slim, there is more media exploitation of the ‘six-pack’ shape and image is becoming more important.

At Life Works, there is a multi disciplinary team of experts who play a vital role in advising these men on the extent of their problems and provide a holistic approach in order to assess the need of their client through therapists, psychiatrists, nutritionists and other professionals. They will help the client recognise his underlying psychological issues that have been the root cause of the eating disorder, finally helping the client deal with his feelings without acting it out with food.

One of the experts in this team is a former bulimia sufferer himself, Philo Jacquet. A compassionate man, who has been through a real ordeal having endured a number of addictions in the past, is now in turn helping those who are suffering.

Brought up in Belgium where money was very tight, food was considered a luxury and the only pleasure his family could afford. This was the onset of a very difficult relationship Philo had with food from the age of ten which he did not recover from until 17 years later. A difficult childhood, Philo always felt different to others and he used food to medicate his feelings. Food was either his best friend or his worst enemy.

“All my early life I was preoccupied with my weight and body image” recalls Philo. “I remember eating whilst standing on weighing scales and as soon as the needle moved I would stop eating. I would exercise for two hours each day as well as throw up in order to control my weight. I was caught in a vicious cycle of wanting to eat more but not gain weight.”

One of the outcomes about not treating his eating disorder quickly was the dependency on other addictions, which in Philo’s case, was heroin and crack. In his darkest moments, his addictions consumed his whole life, thoughts and actions. Philo’s on-going pre-occupation with food was so severe that he was unable to focus or engage at work. Food was his drug of choice and it anaesthetised his feelings to the point of not even being able to be in a relationship with himself let alone other people.

It’s been a long road to recovery and Philo now has a good relationship with food. He chooses to avoid white flour and sugar and eats three healthy meals a day. “Today, I have a life in between meals” he says. Now part of a team of therapists at Life Works, he is keen to address the rising issue of male eating disorders and hopes to give back to men with this problem what he has learnt in overcoming his own addiction.

For further information or if you would like to interview Philo Jacquet please contact Abbie Salisbury/Beccy Whittles, MAX PR & Events Ltd
020 8334 5749 /