More than half of men with eating disorders have never received treatment and a third have never sought it, a new survey has found.
The study, carried out to mark Eating Disorders Awareness Week, also reveals that many survey respondents in Northern Ireland said they worried about how people would react.
Beat, an eating disorder charity, said it was "deeply concerning that men in Northern Ireland are struggling to get the support that they need or to even know what treatment is available".
Professor Siobhan O'Neill, the north's mental health champion, also said it is "vital that we raise awareness of eating disorders, and particularly the impact on males".
The survey estimates that more than over 300,000 men in the UK are affected by eating disorders, and while treatable, recovery can become far more challenging the longer someone is unwell.
Of the one in three men who said they had never tried to get treatment for their eating disorder, almost half were not aware that treatment was available at all.
The survey found many survey respondents in Northern Ireland said nobody raised concerns that they might have an eating disorder, and others worried about others reaction.
In addition, seven in 10 men with an eating disorder had never heard of or read about other men being affected before they became unwell.
To mark Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which begins today, Beat is campaigning to break the stigma surrounding male eating disorders.
Nicola Armstrong from Beat NI said: "Stigma is having a devastating impact on men with eating disorders.
"The sooner that somebody is able to access treatment, the better their chances of making a full recovery, which is why it's deeply concerning that men are struggling to get the support that they need or to even know what treatment is available."
She added: "At Beat, we understand the shame and guilt that men with eating disorders can feel, especially when speaking to someone about their illness for the first time.
"We provide friendly, confidential support every day of the year to people across Northern Ireland and would like to reassure people that there is nothing to be ashamed of, and that recovery is possible."
Professor O'Neill, who fully supports the work of Beat, added: "Eating disorders are unfortunately becoming more common and can have very serious implications for those affected.
"The stigma surrounding eating disorders in males can result in them being less likely to access services and when they do ask for help they may be less likely to receive timely and effective treatment.
"This is reflected in the results of this survey which show that half of men affected have not received treatment.
To contact Beat's NI helpline, please call 0808 801 0434 or email NIhelp@beateatingdisorders.org.uk
Professor O'Neill also spoke to BBC News NI about the importance of everyone seeking help for eating disorders: