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eating disorders

15 Celebrities Who Overcame Eating Disorders

Eating disorders affect people from all walks of life, have varying symptoms, and can be easily disguised by those afflicted. Obsessive exercise, starvation, and laxative abuse are some of the most common behaviors of eating disorder sufferers. The reasons these symptoms are developed are wide ranging, but usually boil down to a lack of self-esteem and pressure to fit some imaginary societal mold.

Even the beautiful, rich, and famous suffer from eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. We’ve compiled a list of celebrities—some surprising, some not so much—who have overcome eating disorders and managed to have a healthy relationship with diet, exercise, and themselves.

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American Idol’s Mariah Pulice Reveals Her Struggles With Anorexia

As American Idol kicked off its twelfth season, the judges rolled into Chicago to hear auditions. One contestant in particular got attention for her voice, but perhaps more for the struggles she had gone through just to be standing there. Mariah Pulice admitted to America that she was in the early stages of recovery from anorexia.

Anorexia is an eating disorder that affects nearly 24 million men and women in the United States, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders Inc. (ANAD). Pulice falls into the most common gender and age group to struggle with the disorder – teenaged females.

Pulice admitted on last Thursday’s episode that her struggles with eating began in junior high school, saying, “I felt a lot bigger than the other girls.” These feeling progressed and Pulice said by high school she recalled only eating a single slice of American cheese each day. For reference, that’s only about 100 calories and maybe five grams of protein. The fact that Pulice was telling this story was impressive, considering how dangerously she was treating her body.
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Drunkorexia: College Students Save Calories for Binge Drinking

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

While we all aspire to be eternally young, one part of youth we can all do without is the irrational sense of invincibility. That, and the overpowering need to be accepted by the “in crowd.”


With that in mind, it’s not hard to believe that the highest percentage of problem drinkers is college students. Heavy drinking, mixed with youthful hormones and naivety, leads to violence, careless sexual activity, and now something that is being called drunkorexia.

Recent Canadian research has found that young men and women are skipping meals, yet are also consuming a day’s worth of calories in alcohol. In other words, young people who want to lose weight, but still want to party, cut out the meals in order to do so and stay thin. They may also be drinking excessively with the intention of purging previously consumed food.

While it’s not yet a recognized eating disorder, the health risks of drunkorexia are very real. Weight-conscious drinkers are risking nutrient deprivation, liver damage, and death.

It’s not a problem exclusive to the U.S. or college-age kids for that matter.
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Mashed Potatoes and Oreos: Odd Food Concoctions are Sign of Binge Eating

Strange food mixtures, also referred to as food concocting, may be an indication of being a binge eater. That’s according to a new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

binge eating

How do you define strange food mixtures? How about:

  • Mashed potatoes and Oreo cookies
  • Frozen vegetables mixed with mayonnaise
  • Chips with lemon, pork rinds, Italian dressing and salt

The excitement comes in the preparation. In fact, they reported having the same emotions as drug users during the act, which was countered by shame and disgust after the fact.

“While they are food concocting and binge eating they report being excited, in a frenzy, and high, but afterwards they feel awful about themselves,” says Mary Boggiano, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Psychology and primary investigator of the study.
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Female Athlete Triad Could Cause Irreversible Health Damage to Endurance Athletes

If you’ve been in the running world for some time, you’ve surely noticed what the typical road race winner looks like, right? Tall, toned, and thin. It’s fair to assume that this is what it takes to be fast. Unfortunately, many of us, and especially females, go about improving our performance based on looking like these elites. Many female athletes are under nourished in relation to the amount of energy they expend. Truth is, this common behavior is actually very dangerous and can cause serious damage to a female athlete’s body.

I have been running since 2006. In 2010, after my sixth marathon, my doctor raised his concerns about my weight, my bone health, and something called the female athlete triad. I had never heard this term before, but I was quickly learning that I was in serious danger of falling into this condition.

Loyola University defines the female athlete triad as being characterized by disordered eating, irregular periods, and osteoporosis. I sat listening to my doctor explain the condition and knew that my periods were not regular, however, surely the other issues didn’t apply to me, or so I thought. He proceeded to perform a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DEXA scan, to check my bone density. He didn’t like what he saw for a female in her late twenties. But then he got to the eating. I was in complete denial. I was thin, but I was a runner and I needed to keep my calories low so I could stay light for performance. So I thought.
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