Ed Sheeran has revealed he developed an eating disorder after comparing himself to fellow pop stars Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes.
The English singer, 32, said in the early days of his career he couldn’t help but compare himself unfavourably to his contemporaries.
“I’m self-conscious anyway, but you get into an industry where you’re getting compared to every other pop star,” he recently told Rolling Stone, adding that he always felt he was “fat”.
“I was in the One Direction wave, and I’m like, ‘Well, why don’t I have a six-pack?’ And I was like, ‘Oh because you love kebabs and drink beer’.
“Then you do songs with Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes. All these people have fantastic figures. And I was always like, ‘Well, why am I so … fat?’”
Sheeran said he ended up doing what Elton John has spoken about in the past – bingeing and then purging.
“I found myself doing what Elton John talks about in his book – gorging, then it would come up again,” he said.
The singer said “as a man” he felt “mad uncomfortable” in opening up about his eating disorder, but added that “it was good, to be honest” about it.
“I have a real eating problem. I’m a real binge eater. (I) binge everything,” he admitted, before adding that his eating habits were now in check. I’m now more of a binge exerciser, and a binge dad,” he said.
“And work, obviously.”