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EastEnders has been working alongside Beat on a storyline that will see Ben Mitchell (played by Max Bowden) struggle with bulimia.

In the past year, viewers have seen Ben face a series of catastrophic events which have significantly impacted his mental health. Things are set to get worse for Ben as he attempts to stay strong for his family as Lola’s health deteriorates. As Ben battles to take control his own mental health spirals and he starts to restrict aspects of his lifestyle, specifically exercise and food.

As the storyline progresses, viewers will see Ben hide his eating disorder from his loved ones as he continues to suffer in silence by imposing heavier restrictions on his diet as well as bingeing and purging in secret. EastEnders has worked closely with leading charity Beat on the storyline to ensure it is portrayed as accurately and as sensitively as possible.

Chris Clenshaw, Executive Producer said of the storyline: “It was vital for us to work alongside Beat to accurately present, and sensitively portray Ben’s bulimia storyline. Max’s [Bowden] performance has thoughtfully portrayed the isolating reality of an eating disorder with compassion and understanding as we explore how the traumatic events of Ben’s past have affected his mental health.”

Tom Quinn, Director of External Affairs at Beat added: “1 in 4 people with an eating disorder are men, but it's rare to see storylines that show how men are affected by these serious mental illnesses. At Beat we welcome that EastEnders has chosen to highlight this important issue and we've been pleased to review scripts, to help ensure bulimia is represented in a sensitive and accurate way. We hope that Ben's story will help to raise awareness of the warning signs and encourage people to reach out for the support they need.”

EastEnders continues Mon-Thu at 7:30pm on BBC One.


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