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AGT alum Jackie Evancho reveals her anorexia has caused osteoporosis

Jackie Evancho has revealed that her seven-year battle with anorexia has caused her to develop osteoporosis, saying she is only 22 and has the bones of an ’80-year-old.’ 

The singer, who was launched to stardom after coming in second place on America’s Got Talent in 2010, opened up about her eating disorder and her road to recovery during an interview with People. 

Evancho was unaware that her bones had become weak and brittle due to anorexia until she was hospitalized in January 2021 following a car accident that broke her back in two places. 

‘They were abnormal breaks, breaks that you see in 80-year-olds,’ she told the magazine. ‘That’s how I learned that my eating problems created osteoporosis. So now I’m a 22-year-old with osteoporosis.’

Jackie Evancho, 22, opened up about her seven-year battle with anorexia during an interview with People, saying it caused her to develop osteoporosis

She was unaware her bones had become weak and brittle until she was hospitalized last year following a car accident that broke her back in two places

She was unaware her bones had become weak and brittle until she was hospitalized last year following a car accident that broke her back in two places

Anorexia, an eating disorder that causes people to obsess about their weight and food, is linked to osteoporosis, which weakens the bones and increases the risk of fractures. 

Research suggests that low bone mass is common in people with anorexia and occurs early on in the disease, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center. 

Evancho explained that she struggled with gaining weight during her recovery and felt compelled to restrict her food to return to her former size. 

‘I had to eat [for my bones] to heal, and that really messed me up with my eating problems, because I was gaining weight to heal,’ she said. ‘Once I finally healed, my disorder said, “OK, now you’ve got to be really hard on yourself to get all of that out of you . . . and then some.”‘

Last October, she made the decision to seek treatment for anorexia at an inpatient facility. She explained that she is focused on her recovery, but she is ‘still in the throes’ of her eating disorder. 

Evancho was 10 years old when she was launched to stardom after coming in second place on America's Got Talent in 2010 (pictured)

Evancho was 10 years old when she was launched to stardom after coming in second place on America’s Got Talent in 2010 (pictured) 

The singer developed anorexia when she was going through puberty at age 15 and struggling with her new curves. She is pictured in 2014

She is pictured in 2015

The singer developed anorexia when she was going through puberty at age 15 and struggling with her new curves. She is pictured in 2014 and 2015

Evancho (pictured in 2017) would skip meals and go days without eating while hiding her eating disorder from her family

Evancho (pictured in 2017) would skip meals and go days without eating while hiding her eating disorder from her family 

Evancho, who was just 10 when she competed on America’s Got Talent, developed anorexia when she was going through puberty at age 15. 

The growing teen tried combatting her curves by dieting and working out, but she was soon pushing herself to extremes. 

‘Growing up in the spotlight, being a kid, being surrounded by all of these adult women who are beautiful and slender and tall was really difficult for me because I wanted to be that and I wasn’t,’ she told Access in 2019. 

Evancho hid her eating disorder from her family for two years, but they eventually noticed she was skipping meals and not eating for days at a time. She was 17 when they persuaded her to seek outpatient treatment.

However, she continued to struggle and her issues with food restriction and body dysmorphia were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Evancho (pictured in 2017) was 17 when her family persuaded her to seek outpatient treatment

Evancho (pictured in 2017) was 17 when her family persuaded her to seek outpatient treatment

The America's Got Talent alum (pictured in 2019) explained that the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated her eating disorder, but she didn't seek help until after her accident last year

The America’s Got Talent alum (pictured in 2019) explained that the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated her eating disorder, but she didn’t seek help until after her accident last year 

Evancho (pictured in June) shared that she is now working with a nutritionist and therapist, but she is 'still struggling' and 'still in the throes' of her eating disorder

Evancho (pictured in June) shared that she is now working with a nutritionist and therapist, but she is ‘still struggling’ and ‘still in the throes’ of her eating disorder

It wasn’t until her accident a year later that she realized she needed help. After undergoing treatment for a second time last fall, she is focused on healing while working with a nutritionist and therapist. 

Evancho told People that she undergoes eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), an interactive psychotherapy used to help people recover from trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues. 

In September, she will release her upcoming album, Carousel of Time, which features all Joni Mitchell cover sons. 

She is also channeling her struggles into original music and recently traveled to Nashville to write songs about her experience. 

‘I’m still struggling, but I’m fighting, which is good because a year ago I was giving in to it completely, and that’s so dark and painful,’ she explained. 

‘I’m not healthy yet, but I have been able to implement healthy coping skills and better eating habits.’

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