Hilary Duff opens up about battling an eating disorder as a teenager: ‘It was horrifying’

In an interview with ‘Women’s Health’ magazine, the actress explains how she learned to cope with the media attention and develop a healthier relationship with her body

Hilary Duff at the Baby2Baby Gala in November 2021 in Hollywood, California.
Hilary Duff at the Baby2Baby Gala in November 2021 in Hollywood, California.Emma McIntyre (Getty)

Actress Hilary Duff, 34, has opened up about battling an eating disorder when she was 17 years old in the January issue of Women’s Health Australia. Duff rose to fame when she was just 14 thanks to the Disney show Lizzie McGuire. Although the series only ran for two seasons, it was a worldwide hit and catapulted the young actress to stardom. The show was so successful that today, 20 years after it first went to air, a new season is set to be released. While starring in the hit show, Duff also launched a successful musical career.

It was during this time, the star explains, that she began to become obsessed with her body image. “Because of my career path, I can’t help but be like, ‘I am on camera and actresses are skinny,’” Duff told Women’s Health. “It was horrifying.”

But the star of the sitcom How I Met Your Father said she learned to cope with the media attention, and now has a healthier relationship with her body. “[I’m] appreciating my health, doing activities that make me feel strong instead of just bettering the outside of my body,” she said. “Spending time with people that make me feel good and share similar views on health and body positivity and getting enough sleep and balance in my diet.”

The interview comes a few months after Duff appeared nude on the cover of the US edition of Women’s Health, and also spoke about the battle to live up to Hollywood beauty standards. “I feel like the older I get, the more confident I get in my own skin and my body’s been many different shapes and sizes. And I’m really just fascinated by one, being a woman and two, all the changes your body can go through throughout a lifetime,” she said. “I think that at 34, I have just gained a lot of respect for my body. It’s taken me all the places I need to go, it’s helped me build a beautiful family.”

Duff is the mother of three children: Luca, 9, Violet, 3, and Mae, who is just 20 months old. She had her first child with former ice hockey player Mike Comrie, from whom she separated in 2014. Her youngest two are from her marriage with her current husband, musician Matthew Koma. “I love this mayhem,” she told People magazine in May, after welcoming her third child. “I love when everyone’s full of energy and the house is buzzing. You never know what the day is going to bring or what your kid’s going to say.”

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