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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Charlotte McIntyre

EastEnders confirm heartbreaking eating disorder storyline for Walford icon

The BBC soap has confirmed Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) will at the centre of a eating disorder storyline as he struggles to cope with the recent heartbreaking events in his life.

EastEnders has been working alongside Beat on the storyline that will see Ben struggle with bulimia.

Over the past year, EastEnders fans have seen the Mitchell bad boy face a series of catastrophic events which have significantly impacted his mental health such as Lola Pearce's (Danielle Harold) terminal cancer diagnosis.

Things are set to get worse for Ben as he attempts to stay strong for his family as Lola’s health deteriorates but as Ben battles to take control his own mental health spirals and he starts to restrict aspects of his lifestyle, specifically exercise and food.

EastEnders has worked closely with leading charity Beat on the storyline (BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

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.

The BBC soap 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.”

Ben will hide his struggles from his loved ones (BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

Tom Quinn, Director of External Affairs at Beat added: “One in four 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 airs on BBC One from Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm.

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