Freddie Flintoff to discuss suffering from bulimia in new BBC documentary

Sabrina Barr
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Freddie Flintoff will discuss how suffering from bulimia affected his life in a new documentary for BBC One.

In the documentary, the working title of which is Freddie Flintoff on Bulimia, the former cricketer will explore why he developed an eating disorder and the extent to which it has impacted his life.

The 42-year-old will also question why men who suffer from eating disorders frequently feel as though they need to conceal what they are going through.

According to charity Beat, approximately 25 per cent of those affected by an eating disorder in the UK are male.

The National Centre for Eating Disorders outlines that male patients account for around five to 10 per cent of those diagnosed with bulimia.

The organisation adds that “men are more likely to avoid seeking help” if they are struggling with an eating disorder.

The sporting star will meet experts and men who suffer from eating disorders in order to gain a “new understanding of what it means to be a man with an eating disorder,” the BBC states.

Having represented England in international cricket in 1998, in 2001 Flintoff began to feel an increasing amount of pressure, due to the constant attention he was receiving from fans, the media and his teammates.

In the documentary, Flintoff will share how he felt the need to maintain a slim physique, so as to match the other members of his team.

This resulted in Flintoff developing bulimia, a condition that has impacted him throughout his career up until the present day.

When a person has bulimia, otherwise known as bulimia nervosa, they will typically eat large amounts of food before “trying to compensate for that overeating by vomiting, taking laxatives or diuretics, fasting, or exercising excessively,” charity Beat explains.

The A League of Their Own team captain expressed his hope that viewers will find the documentary helpful.

“If this resonates with one person watching, or through this we can show someone that there is help out there, then this is worth doing,” he said.

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, said: “I would like to thank Freddie for opening up about his struggle with bulimia in this very personal film for BBC One.

“I hope this film will raise awareness about a subject that is all too often a taboo and make a difference to the way men talk about mental health.”

BBC One has not yet confirmed when the documentary will be shown.

To contact charity Beat for support regarding eating disorders, you can call the helpline on 0808 801 0677, the studentline on 0808 801 0811 and the youthline on 0808 801 0711.

The helplines are open every day from 12pm to 8pm during the week and from 4pm to 8pm on weekends and bank holidays.

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