How can discussing male eating disorders overturn the stigmas that reside in the unknown? What resources are available to help men through their eating disorders? Can seeing someone else accept themselves give you the strength to do the same? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks with Richie Cartwright about his personal story and struggle with binge eating and the mission he is on now to help other men who are battling eating disorders.


Richie runs Fella, a Y Combinator startup to help men tackle binge eating. Fella is a community-driven digital health platform: software to guide you through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), supported by other men going through the same thing. Before Fella, Richie's first company (an AI transport startup working with the UK government) was acquired. He's a self-taught data scientist, studied economics at Cambridge University, and dropped out of a Masters at Peking Uni in China. Visit his website and connect on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


  • Eating disorders between men and women
  • Self-acceptance
  • How can you support a man going through an eating disorder?

Eating disorders between men and women

I think it’s fantastic that it’s being spoken about for women and I hope that as a group of men in society, blokes in society don’t fall down a similar trap which I think is happening in front of our eyes, but it’s hopefully going to be caught before it gets to kind of as much pressure as sadly women and young women have faced for a few decades now. (Richie Cartwright)
In recent years there has been considerable change in what is construed as a desirable male body, going from simply charismatic and intelligent to having a model-perfect body as well. This in turn puts a lot of pressure on young men who feel that they need to look a certain way in order to also be attractive and desired. Due to the growing pressure on external beauty and physique for men combined with the outdated idea that men need to be “manly” and not openly discuss their emotions and feelings, a perfect storm is created where many men suffer from eating disorders and perhaps are not even aware that they are.


In one of the pillars of the Fella course is self-acceptance, where men are given recourses and support so that they can stop judging themselves.
When you see other blokes who are like you or different to you but who are literally saying the words that you would say, something kind of magical happens in your brain where you go: “ah, this is an external thing. I respect that person and they’re saying the same things as me, hmm, maybe I should respect myself and love myself and accept myself a little bit more.” (Richie Cartwright)
By seeing someone else going through what you went through and still love and accept themselves, can give you the same strength to do the same for yourself, and there is no shame in that.

How can you support a man going through an eating disorder?

Make it clear that you are still on their side and do not dismiss their feelings. Express your concern for them and if you can and if they are open to it, perhaps provide information on eating disorders.



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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