Does Ariana Grande have an eating disorder? (5 types of eating disorders)

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In this blog post, we shall answer the question “does Ariana Grande have an eating disorder?” and look at who Ariana is and her weight loss journey. We will also look at what eating disorders are, their types and symptoms and their risk factors. Finally, we shall look at the treatment and management of eating disorders and how to prevent eating disorders.

Does Ariana Grande have an eating disorder?

No, Ariana Grande does not have an eating disorder. Many people, however, believed that she had an eating disorder after they noted a drastic weight loss as she transitioned from a Disney actor to the musician we know. She took to her social media accounts and said that her weight loss was brought about by her diet changes from eating junk to healthy foods and investing in her holistic health.

Before we discuss her weight loss journey, let us look at who Ariana Grande is.

Who is Ariana Grande?

Ariana Grande-Butera is an American singer, songwriter and actress that is globally known for her impressive vocal range. She has received accolades like a Brit award, 2 Grammy awards, a Bambi award, 3 American music awards, 2 Billboard music awards, 27 Guinness world records and 9 MTV music awards.

She is one of the best-selling music artists and one of the most-followed people on Instagram. Her personal life has also been under scrutiny and getting widespread attention. And this includes her drastic weight loss.

Ariana Grande’s weight loss

Ariana’s fans became concerned about the singer’s weight loss and rumours started spreading that she had an eating disorder. She, however, addressed the claims saying, “This is about making sure the foods you put in your body will nourish you and be put to good use. The reason why I lost as much weight as I did is because I used to live on junk food. Like around the clock. So drastically changed my eating habits, started exercising daily, and I’m all-around a healthier me. I’m eating as much as I was before, just the content has changed.”

Arian has had hypoglycemia for most of her life and eating healthily has made her cope. Her weight loss journey did not have anything to do with being skinny as many would think. She decided to become 100% vegan and this definitely had to cause some changes.

She has also confirmed that she doesn’t restrict her diet and sometimes loves to indulge a bit. She also has a trainer who helps her pick foods and exercise routines that will ensure that she is healthy at all times. She also uses her media influence to advise people to love their bodies, finds exercise routines that fit their schedules, listen to their bodies, not restrict their diets and most importantly not make being thin their ultimate goal.

Ariana’s story helps us to demystify the belief that all people who are thin/lose weight have an eating disorder. Although this is one of the symptoms of ED, we should also look at other symptoms before diagnosing ourselves and others with ED. Eating disorders are serious conditions that need to be taken seriously and with a lot of sensitivity.

Let us now educate ourselves on what eating disorders are and their types.

What are eating disorders? 

Eating disorders are mental illnesses characterized by abnormal eating habits, and complex and damaging relationships between food, exercise and body image that impairs physical and mental health.

Eating disorders are also known to cause death. In fact, about one person dies every hour as a direct result of an eating disorder. (Eating Disorders Coalition, 2016)

Types of eating disorders

According to the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders fifth edition (DSM-5), there are six types of eating disorders. Obesity is no longer included as an eating disorder since it results from long-term excess energy intake relative to energy expenditure. 

A range of genetics, physiological, behavioural, and environmental factors that vary across individuals contribute to the development of obesity; thus, obesity is not a mental disorder. (Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders fifth edition 2013).

The six eating disorders are;

Pica 

Pica is a feeding and eating disorder characterized by eating non-nutritive non-food substances such as ice, clay, soil, paper and stones. Can be caused by nutrition deficiencies, pregnancy, stress and cultural factors.

Rumination 

It is an eating disorder characterized by spitting up digested or partially digested food from the stomach, re-chewing the food and either re-swallowing or spitting it out. It tends to occur within 30 minutes of every meal. The causes of rumination remain unknown.

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder.

Formally referred to as selective eating disorder, is an eating disorder characterized by intense restriction or selection of food consumed. Unlike anorexia nervosa, people with this eating disorder are not interested in their body image, shape or size.

Anorexia nervosa

Is a severe eating disorder characterized by abnormal body weight, distorted body image, and unwarranted fear of gaining weight. In order to prevent weight gain, anorexic people try to control their body weight by vomiting food, using laxatives, diet aids, and excessive exercise.

Common symptoms include extreme low body weight, dizziness, insomnia, fatigue, dry skin, hair that easily falls off, preoccupation with food, skipping meals, refusing to eat, denying hunger, complaints of being overweight, measuring weight often and lying about the quantity of food taken.

Causes include; biological factors such as genes, psychological factors such as temperaments and environmental factors such as societal demands.

Preverance

Usually begins during the teenage and early adulthood years. It is more common in women than in men.

Anorexia is the most deadly mental illness. One study found that people with anorexia are 56 times more likely to commit suicide than people without an eating disorder. (Eating Disorders Coalition, 2016).

Bulimia nervosa

Is a mental disorder characterized by binge eating (consuming large quantities of food over a short period of time) followed by calorie reducing strategies such as purging (induced vomiting), fasting and excessive exercise. 

Bulimia is a severe, life-threatening eating disorder. Symptoms include; binge eating, vomiting, self-harm, fatigue, dehydration, avoiding food, irregular and absence of menstruation, constipation, heartburn and guilt.

Causes include genetic factors, psychological factors such as personality, dieting and societal pressure.

Binge eating disorder.

Binge eating is an eating disorder characterized by consuming large amounts of food over a short period of time, and feelings of being unable to stop eating even when full. It is the most common eating disorder with a prevalence of  5.5%.

Symptoms include; eating large amounts of food over a short period of time, eating even when not hungry, feeling that your eating behaviour is out of control, eating until you are uncomfortably full, eating in secret, eating alone and feelings of depression and guilt.

Unlike people with bulimia, binge eaters are not concerned with weight reduction through vomiting, using laxatives or excessive exercise and can thus suffer from other physical conditions such as obesity.

It is more common in women than in men and usually begins during early adulthood. Causes include dieting and psychological issues such as depression and low self-esteem.

Management and treatment of eating disorders

Many people deny having eating disorders and only seek treatment when their condition is serious or life-threatening. The most challenging part of treatment is getting the individual affected to accept treatment. Most of those in treatment centres are coerced/forced into treatment by their loved ones which makes treatment long and tedious.

Treatment includes strategies like:

Medication

Some healthcare providers recommend the use of a prescription nutritional supplement to help the body regain weight for those who are underweight. They can also prescribe medication to treat anxiety and depressive symptoms which are common in people suffering from eating disorders. Some psychotic medication like olanzapine is good for weight gain. Some other medications help with period regulation.

Nutritive counselling

This helps in restoring a healthy relationship with food and eating patterns, teaching healthy approaches to food, teaching the importance of nutrition and eating balanced meals and helping restore normal eating patterns.

Psychotherapy

Individual counselling helps in changing the thinking (cognitive therapy) and behaviour (behavioural therapy) of the individual with an eating disorder. Therapy helps the person accept and get committed to treatment, address distorted thinking patterns surrounding food, develop new skills in dealing with negative thought patterns and behaviours and also solve interpersonal conflicts.

Family and group therapy

Family support is crucial in the life of a person recovering from an eating disorder. They must understand and be aware of the symptoms and warning signs of the disorder. Group therapy with those going through the same is also important in opening up without feeling judged and getting realistic and workable solutions from others.

Hospitalization

This is necessary for those with severe weight loss resulting in malnutrition or those with severe mental and physical effects of eating disorders. This includes those with heart complications, depression or suicidal thoughts, ideations or trials.

Conclusion

We have looked at who Ariana Grande is, and whether she had an eating disorder. We have also looked at what eating disorders are, their types and symptoms. Finally, we have looked at the treatment and management of eating disorders.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comment section below.

Frequently asked questions: Ariana Grande eating disorder

How did Ariana Grande lose weight?

The musician says that her weight loss is attributed to her stopping taking junk foods and instead of finding healthier alternatives. Though she indulges once in a while, she is 100% vegan.

Is Ariana Grande still a vegan?

Yes, since the year 2013, Ariana has been a vegan after admitting that she loves animals more than she loves most people.

How does Ariana stay fit?

She makes sure to get at least 12000 steps a day even when she is unable to complete a traditional workout.

Citations

Bhati S. (January 22, 2022). How Ariana Grande Lost 25 Pounds – Her Detailed Story. Retrieved from https://fabbon.com/articles/wellness/ariana-grande-weight-loss

Macatee R. (June 18, 2013). Victorious Star Ariana Grande Slams Eating Disorder Rumors, Explains Healthy Weight Loss. Retrieved from https://www.eonline.com/news/431205/victorious-star-ariana-grande-slams-eating-disorder-rumors-explains-healthy-weight-loss

Healthline, 6 Common Types of Eating Disorders (and Their Symptoms). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/common-eating-disorders

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