Zayn Malik has revealed he struggled with an eating disorder while with One Direction

One Direction: Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan. Photo / AP
One Direction: Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan. Photo / AP

Former One Direction member Zayn Malik has revealed he developed an eating disorder during his time with the popular boy band.

The star, who has now branched out into a solo R&B career, made the shock revelation in his autobiography Zayn.

Zayn Malik has revealed he was battling an eating disorder while with One Direction. Photo / Supplied
Zayn Malik has revealed he was battling an eating disorder while with One Direction. Photo / Supplied

"When I look back at images of myself from around November 2014, before the final tour, I can see how ill I was," Malik writes.

"Something I've never talked about in public before, but which I have come to terms with since leaving the band, is that I was suffering from an eating disorder."

He goes on to clarify that it wasn't because he had "concerns" about his weight or appearance, he would just go for days at a time without eating and "didn't recognise it for what it was".

Zayn Malik pictured with the rest of the band in November, 2014. Photo / Getty Images
Zayn Malik pictured with the rest of the band in November, 2014. Photo / Getty Images

"I think it was about control. I didn't feel like I had control over anything else in my life, but food was something I could control, so I did.

"I had lost so much weight I had become ill. The workload and the pace of life on the road put together with the pressures and strains of everything going on within the band had badly affected my eating habits."

Around the time Malik is referring to, he was forced to deny rumours of a drug addiction which were spurred on by his uncharacteristically gaunt appearance.

Malik quit One Direction four months later and broke up with his fiancee Perrie Edwards soon after.

Previously, Malik has also opened up about his struggles with ADHD and anxiety - the latter of which forced him to cancel his first-ever solo performance in June.

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"On the morning of the 2016 Capital Radio Summertime Ball, an anxiety attack hit me like a f*****g freight train. I felt sick. I couldn't breathe. The idea of it totally freaked me out and I was paralysed with anxiety.

"This overwhelming fear just kicked in out of nowhere, bringing with it a s*** storm of self-doubt. When my management team came over to see what was wrong, I was on total psychological lockdown.

"I would make a move to walk out of the house, to get into a car that would then drive me to Wembley, but I could only manage a few paces before I hit an imaginary wall. It stopped me in my tracks, and I would have to sit down again."

However, Malik isn't quitting anytime soon. He says the plan is to start performing at smaller venues and "work my way up from there".

"This anxiety isn't going to get the better of me."

- NZ Herald

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