Ed Sheeran says eating disorders aren’t limited to ‘one gender’

Ed Sheeran has opened up about coping with an eating disorder.

The “Eyes Closed” musician, 32, who revealed in 2020 that he suffers from binge eating and purging behaviours, commonly associated with the eating disorder bulimia nervosa, has since said that he would compare his body image to other musicians and he was “uncomfortable” in himself.

In a new interview appearing on CBS Sunday Morning (7 May), the “Thinking Out Loud” singer-songwriter told Seth Doane he is working hard to “try to not binge as much”.

“I keep my weight in check now because I do a lot of exercise, but I’ve just always been a fat bloke,”, he said.

The host was quick to say: “You’re not fat.”

Sheeran replied: “Well, no, because I keep it in check. I did, like, an hour and a half of exercise this morning and I’ll be on stage for another two hours today.”

“I watch what I eat and I exercise a lot and I try to not binge as much.”

On his disordered eating behaviours, Sheeran added: “I just don’t want to turn into the poster boy for it, you know?

Ed Sheeran said he doesn’t want to become the ‘poster boy’ for disordered eating (Getty Images)
Ed Sheeran said he doesn’t want to become the ‘poster boy’ for disordered eating (Getty Images)

“I think what is important about speaking about it is letting people know that it is not a problem that is just for one gender.”

When the presenter asked: “You’re talking about bulimia?”, Sheeran clarified: “Yeah.”

According to the NHS, people who have bulimia go through periods where they eat a lot of food in a very short amount of time (binge eating) and then make themselves sick.

Speaking at the Hay House summit in 2020 about anxiety and wellbeing, the singer opened up about how his hectic 180-date touring schedule for the album X from 2014 to 2015 caused him to develop unhealthy habits.

It was reading Elton John’s autobiography that inspired Sheeran to change after recognising “so many” addictive behaviours that he also exhibited.

“He would be like, ‘I would just go on an ice cream binge and eat four desserts until I threw up’, and I was like, ‘I’ve done that before,’” Sheeran said. “Or his martini binges, where he sees how many martinis he can drink. And I’m like, ‘I’ve done that before too.’”


It comes as the singer-songwriter emerged victorious from his recent copyright trail.

A Manhattan jury found on Thursday 4 May that the British singer-songwriter did not plagiarise Marvin Gaye’s 1973 song “Let’s Get It On” for his 2014 single “Thinking Out Loud”.

Sheeran has also revealed that he did not get asked to sing at the King’s coronation concert, despite reports suggesting he had “turned down” the opportunity.

For anyone struggling with the issues raised in this article, eating disorder charity Beat’s helpline is available 365 days a year on 0808 801 0677. NCFED offers information, resources and counselling for those suffering from eating disorders, as well as their support networks. Visit eating-disorders.org.uk or call 0845 838 2040.