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'Idol' Star Katharine McPhee's Bulimia Hell

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Jun 22, 2006 | 8:33am EDT

American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee has spoken out about her five-year battle with bulimia, insisting her time on the hit series was the trigger for her recovery.

McPhee, who struggled with the disorder since the age of 17, finally conquered the nightmare by enrolling with the Eating Disorder Center of California after winning a place on the TV talent show.

She says, "When I made it onto American Idol, I knew that food--my eating disorder--was the one thing holding me back.

"I knew I had put off going to a treatment center long enough--I'd been struggling with bulimia since I was 17.

"Growing up in Los Angeles and spending all those years in dance class, I'd been conscious of body image at a young age, and I went through phases of exercising compulsively and starving myself."

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