It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder, with 7 million of them being women. Disorders such as anorexia, which entails literally starving oneself, and bulimia, which is when one binge-eats and then purges, can cause complications such as heart problems, and even lead to death.
In Hollywood, a number of female celebrities, including Portia de Rossi and Paula Abdul, have confessed that they suffered from eating disorders and the social pressure to be thin. Most recently, model and "Real Housewives of Miami" star Joanna Krupa revealed her struggles with an eating disorder and pill addiction.
During a Q&A with Star magazine, Krupa revealed that when she moved to Los Angeles to pursue modeling, she became addicted to laxatives. There has been a growing trend to misuse laxatives in an effort to lose weight. Though it is extremely unhealthy to overuse laxatives, Krupa engaged in the dangerous habit. “Every day — I was an addict,” she said.
“When I came to Los Angeles in 1999, my dream was to be a model, but I couldn’t get work. I got really depressed, and all I did was eat. Within a year, I gained over 20 pounds and my self-esteem was shot, plus my credit card was maxed out. I cried every day,” says the 34-year-old. “While I was never diagnosed with anorexia or bulimia at the time, I’ve learned that starving myself and bingeing means I had both. I was in deep trouble.”
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Eventually, Krupa realized she needed help, and sought medical treatment before relying on healthy eating and exercise to promote and sustain weight loss.
“I work out four to five times a week, run, and I do CrossFit. I still worry about being camera ready, but I’m no longer obsessed,” she says about her current attitude towards her body.