Clinicians take part in BBC One documentary on bulimia with Freddie Flintoff MBE

Cricketer, Andrew Flintoff MBE, has met clinicians and an expert by experience at South London and Maudsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s Adult Eating Disorder Services, as part of a documentary for BBC One.

In the programme, Freddie attempts to find out why eating disorders in general are so hidden in men and seeks to understand the causes and impact of bulimia on his life.

In the documentary Freddie meets with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s Dr Omara Naseem and Jamie, a service user, who shares his own experience of bulimia. 

Dr Omara Naseem, senior counselling psychologist, said:

Research shows there is a link in how men feel about their bodies and their psychological wellbeing. We know men in particular face difficulties in talking about emotional difficulties and seeking help.
Eating disorders do not discriminate and affect all regardless of gender, race, class or creed. This documentary highlights how important it is for men to get help and that recovery is possible. I would like to thank the patients featured for bravely speaking about their experiences and to Freddie for sharing his story.

Danielle Glennon, clinical lead and FREED national lead, said:

We want to encourage everyone to seek help, as it is possible to get better. Wherever someone may be on their journey, there is hope and help out there. 
We are working hard with local commissioners and NHS England to invest in adult eating disorder services so that we can reduce waiting lists, and treat people early. We want to thank Freddie for the time he spent on our unit with our patients, and sharing some of his story. We wish him well.

Freddie told the BBC:

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.

South London and Maudsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s Eating Disorders Outpatient Service is available to people from across the UK. The team offers assessment, treatment and management of people with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder or mixed eating disorder symptoms, providing a range of evidence-based care packages tailored to the needs of patients, their families and carers.

The service is internationally renowned for its research and at the forefront of treatment development, having generated much of the evidence underpinning contemporary eating disorder treatments. 

Treatment is there to help reduce the impact on physical and psychological wellbeing, encourage a healthy relationship with food, and aid recovery by helping to develop healthy ways of coping with the thoughts and feelings behind someone’s eating disorder. This may involve guided self-help, group therapy, or individual therapy. 

Freddie Flintoff On Bulimia was broadcast on 28 September at 9pm on BBC One. You can watch the episode on BBC Iplayer.