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Kirstie Alley Upsets Bulimics on New Show

Mar 09, 2005 | 8:50am EST

Kirstie Alley has been attacked by members of the world's leading eating disorders group for joking about "life-threatening diseases" like bulimia on her new comedy show Fat Actress.

Officials at America's National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) are furious with the former Cheers star for trivializing binge-eating disorders during the debut of her new program, which aired in the US on Monday night.

In one scene, which has upset NEDA's chiefs, co-star Kelly Preston tells Alley's character, which is loosely based on herself, that making herself sick after every meal is one way of losing weight--a practice commonly used by bulimics.

NEDA Chief Executive Officer Lynn Grefe says, "My guess is that Kirstie Alley's concept for the show was born from her frustrations with the unreasonable standards found in the entertainment industry, frustrations that NEDA understands because it is that unrealistic standard that often triggers an eating disorder.

"However, there is nothing funny about eating disorders, and to make comedic references to anorexia, bulimia or binge-eating disorder is dangerous. Nearly 10 million women and one million men suffer from anorexia or bulimia and it is estimated that another 25 million suffer from binge-eating disorders."

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