It is said that there is a fine line between dieting and having an eating disorder. The former can be harmless – dropping a couple of pounds in order to feel confident about wearing a bikini in the summer, for example – but can sometimes lead to the latter, something much more serious, where the goal continues to stretch to an unhealthy degree and obsessive behaviour takes hold. However, more often than not, experts claim that eating disorders are most likely to stem from psychological issues experienced by the sufferer in childhood or in their teens. Depriving the body of food or eating excessively then purging are among the symptoms. Some sufferers of common disorders anorexia and bulimia have even been known to weigh food, which, according to experts, is a display of fear.
Nicole Richie, the prominent face of television series ‘The Simple Life’, is just one celebrity who is said to have fallen victim to eating disorders. The daughter of singing leged Lionel Richie received immense media attention after she drastically lost weight following her appearance on the Fox series. Acknowledging the issue, Richie told Vanity Fair: “I know I’m too thin right now, so I wouldn’t want any young girl looking at me and saying, ‘That’s what I want to look like. I do know that they will, which is another reason I really do need to do something about it. I’m not happy with the way I look right now”, People magazine reported.
Despite this, the reality-TV star has always adamently denied having any real problem. She stated: “I am not anorexic. I am not bulimic. I do not have an eating disorder”. Richie’s troubled relationship with her fiance is said to be partly responsible for the weight loss, according to the socialite herself: “I get really stressed out, and I do lose my appetite”.
In 2006, Nicole Richie checked into rehab, but again, contradicted claims that she was finally facing up to her eating problems: “I’m not in rehab, and I don’t have an eating disorder. I’m getting the help I need and taking care of my health”, US Weekly reported. World Entertainment News quoted the star as saying: “I wouldn’t want anyone to think that I think that it’s OK to have an eating disorder. Obviously it’s not. I’m a little sick of it. I think when you see me in person, you see that I’m, like, five foot one—I’m a small person. When I was heavier, everyone said I was too heavy. You can’t win in the public eye and I find it really hard. So I ignore it now, I really do.”
Rehab did work wonders for Nicole though, and she came out looking healthier and having put on a few pounds. Today, she is positive about the future, but continues to stand her ground: “I’m focusing on my health right now and getting the help I need, like anybody else would… I’ve looked in the mirror every day since I was little. I don’t think I look any different“, she told People magazine.
Actress Keira Knightley is another celebrity who denies having an eating disorder, in spite of being very thin. Felicity Huffman, Thandie Newton and Paula Abdul, however, have all admitted to having suffered from anorexia or bulimia.
Image: Steal Their StyleTags: anorexia bulimia eating disorder