Marie Osmond Opens Up On Lifelong Battle With Eating Disorders

By McCarton Ackerman 03/16/15

Marie Osmond faced industry pressure to drop weight when she was just 15 years old.

Marie Osmond

Marie Osmond was a millionaire by the time she was old enough to legally drive, but the '70s icon revealed the pressures of fame nearly killed her as she starved herself to appease Hollywood producers.

Despite weighing 103 pounds at the age of 15, Osmond claims that producers told her she needed to lose weight or the Donny & Marie show would be canceled. She also claimed to overhear producers arguing about how to “get rid of the fat little sister” and accused them of insinuating that hundreds of people would lose their jobs because of her.

“I had producers take me out into the parking lot ... and tell me that I was obese, disgusting and a disgrace to my family. That I needed to keep food out of my fat face,” she told Closer Weekly. “This sent me on a head trip, that 250 people could lose their jobs because of me.” She admitted trying everything “from diet pills to bulimia to starving myself” to lose weight.

But after the birth of her last child in 1999, Osmond went in the reverse direction and began to binge eat. After she began to suffer from health problems and “struggling to catch [my] breath just to walk across the stage,” she was given an intervention from her eldest son Michael to help get healthy again.

“[He said that] all of the kids got together and agreed ... that we love you and want you around to see our children and we are afraid, that at the rate you are going, you won’t be there. We don’t want to see you like Grandma,” she told Oprah Winfrey in 2009. Osmond eventually signed on to become a spokeswoman for Nutrisystem and joined Dancing With the Stars in 2007, dropping 45 pounds in just four months.

She credits her family and faith with helping her maintain a healthy lifestyle these days, explaining that “it’s a formula that has helped us through a lot of things ... I look back at my life as all these peaks and valleys. The bad times dissipate and you only remember the good.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.