Does Fiona Apple have an eating disorder?

In this blog, we will be talking about Fiona Apple’s Eating disorder, and we’ll also be covering eating disorders, Fiona Apple’s eating disorder, symptoms, and treatments of eating disorder, and also answer a few frequently asked questions. 

Does Fiona Apple have an eating disorder?

Yes, Fiona Apple has suffered from an eating disorder known as anorexia nervosa in which the person views their body to be quite large and high on weight when in reality they are extremely underweight, malnourished, and they can even die if they are not treated in time for their eating disorder.

Let us explore who is she and then get to her life and her anorexia.

Who is Fiona Apple?

Born on 13th September 1977 in New York, USA, Three Grammy Awards, two MTV video music awards and Billboard music award winner Fiona Apple McAfee Maggart is an American Singer, Songwriter.

Her Bumpy Road of Life and Relation to Anorexia Nervosa

Fiona’s life had been summarized in a tragic tale. From bizarre events to adverse mental states, she has fiercely faced every hardship to date. One of her battles with herself also included Anorexia Nervosa which is a type of eating disorder she developed when she was raped outside her mother’s Manhattan apartment when she was 12. As she recalled the story, all she could remember about the incident was that it happened before Thanksgiving. She was walking home from school when a man came after her and kept her out of sight outside her building. Apple tried to dodge him by running inside, but he grabbed the door before it closed. He then took hold of her as she was unlocking her own door and threatened her with a weapon. After assaulting her, he spoke, “Happy Thanksgiving. Next time don’t let strangers in.”

The connection between Mental and Physical Health

When we discuss mental health or physical health, little do many people know that they are actually interconnected.

The incident drove itself into Apple’s memories and left a scar. Experiencing constant nightmares, she would stab her bedroom closet with a knife and cry. Eventually, an eating disorder sanctioned her to cut off foods  “that looked a certain way” or “were a certain color.”

Apple blurted out about her ache as: “They don’t know I used to sail the deep and tranquil sea / But he washed me ‘shore and he took my pearl / And left an empty shell of me.”

Worldwide, when it comes to eating disorders it’s not just Anorexia Nervosa that people are suffering from but many other faces of this disorder that creeps inside humans and eventually dull their spark.

What are eating disorders?

Although the term eating is in the name, eating disorders do not only revolve around food. They are like a multiplex of mental health adversities. Eating disorders are a spectrum of psychological conditions that cause unhealthy eating habits to develop. They might initiate with an obsession with food, body weight, or body shape. In drastic cases, eating disorders can develop into significant health consequences and may even result in death if left untreated.

With that being said, let us look at the types of Eating disorder and their respective symptoms known to the experts.

Types of eating disorders

Anorexia nervosa

It generally develops when a person is in their adolescence or young adulthood and is inclined to influence more female population than that of male.

People with anorexia generally view themselves as morbidly obese, even if they’re dangerously underweight. They generally aim to constantly observe their weight, cut off from certain types of foods, and severely restrict their calories.

Common symptoms of anorexia nervosa include  :

•         Being considerably underweight compared with people of similar age and height

•         Confined eating patterns

•         Despite being underweight, they force their minds to picture themselves as overweight

•         Connecting body shape with self-esteem

Bulimia nervosa

Like anorexia, bulimia tends to develop during adolescence and early adulthood and appears to have the same statistics as that of Anorexia Nervosa.

People with bulimia frequently eat unusually large amounts of food in a specific period of time. Due to the feeling that forces them to keep eating, they fill themselves until their anatomy gets painfully full.

Heavy indulgence can occur with any kind of food but it particularly happens with edible substances that a human being wouldn’t prefer to eat. And those who are affected by this disease commonly puke out or you may say ‘purge’ in order to eliminate the consumed calories and get rid of gut irritation.  

Usual elimination behaviors include forced vomiting, fasting, laxatives, enemas, and excessive exercise.

However, people having bulimia nervosa maintain a normal weight than those of Anorexics.

Common symptoms of bulimia nervosa include :

•         Binge eating with lack of command.

•         Avoiding weight gain by eviction

•         A self-esteem extremely influenced by body image and weight

•         A fear of gaining weight, despite having a normal mass.

Binge eating disorder

It generally sets off during adolescence and early adulthood, although it comes into existence in the latter part of life.

Individuals who have the symptoms of BED have a lot in common with those who have Bulimia Nervosa.

For example, they typically eat abnormally large amounts of food in short intervals of time and feel a lack of control.

But, highlight to differentiate, people with binge eating disorder do not limit calories or use eviction behaviors, such as vomiting or excessive exercise, to repay for their binges.

Common symptoms of binge eating disorder include :

•         Eating large portions of foods hurriedly, until uncomfortably full, even when not hungry

•         Feeling a lack of control during binge

•         Being shameful and disgusted due to their eating habits

•         Do not restrict calories or use eviction behaviors


It is another eating disorder that involves eating things that are not considered by another individual.

People with Pica yearn to eat things, such as ice, dirt, soil, chalk, paper, hair, cloth, wool, pebbles, laundry detergent, etc

Pica can occur in adults, as well as children and adolescents. A person with pica usually is on a heightened risk of poisoning, infections, gut injuries, and nutrition deficiency. Depending on the components consumed, this disorder may cause death.

Rumination disorder

It marks out a condition in which a person disgorge food they have already chewed and gulped down, re-chews it, and then either gulps it again or expectorates.

This process generally occurs within the first thirty minutes after having a snack or a meal. This disorder can develop during infancy, childhood, or adulthood. It eventually disappears on its own when it occurs in children between three to twelve months of age. Little ones and adults with the above mentioned condition usually require therapy to combat it.

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder

The term come into the place of what was known as a “feeding disorder of infancy and early childhood,” a diagnosis previously restrained for children under 7 years old.

Inspite of the fact that it usually develops during infancy or early childhood, it can last into adulthood. Here, it is equally revolving around men and women.

Individuals with this disorder experience disturbed eating due to disinterest or repugnance for certain smells, tastes, colors, textures etc

Common symptoms include :

•         Evasion of sustenance

•         Weight reduction or poor growth for age and height

•         Nutrient deficiencies or being kept on supplements/tube feeding

Apple Fiona and her Public humiliations

Jumping back to Apple Fiona, she was critically addressed and humiliated in public by many sources.  A handful of which sparked comments like,

 “She looked like an underfed Calvin Klein model.”

 “A pretentious and, on occasion, excruciatingly silly human being.”

“World-class drama queen.”

 And so on.

But even after the harsh and destructive criticism blanketed her world, Fiona stood strong amidst the heavy storm.  With time, the Grammy winner has talked openly about her battles with anorexia.

She also mentioned her hardships in her 1999 song, Paper Bag: “Hunger hurts, but starving works when it costs too much to love.

Fiona addressed her weight reduction by saying, “I’m f*cking losing weight because I’m having trouble digesting food because your guts are connected to your brain and I have a lot of stress in my brain.”

Her songs mainly consist of her wounds that still carried pain and significant scars. Her first album Tidal was absorbed by many people with its chain of tragic tunes and phrases.

Her most appalling track is “Sullen Girl,” which mentions a hopelessness she wanted the world to recognize.

Apple scuffled with the way she looked. While working on Tidal, she was having an eating disorder and had to go for therapy, as per Rolling Stone. She was determined to evict those parts of her body which a sexual predator might try to touch. As a sufferer of bullying, a rape survivor, and a celebrity, Apple had been put into negative thoughts by the media.

Her track, Tidal was broke the bubble with praises and Apple began flying around the World. Even though she was seen to be happy and happening, her hardships kept their course.

Treatment of Eating disorders

Apple Fiona isn’t the only one who had a bumpy road in her life due to her eating disorder but many others suffer the same in silence.

In India, there is a big blank paper when it comes to the statistics of this disorder.

One explanation for this lack of data is that these types of disorders have a much lower prevalence in India, due to cultural differences and less awareness around these subjects. However increase in the urban and rural literacy has made significant changes in the field of mental health which underlines the need of collecting and organizing more statistics in India.

If you know someone who is suffering from Eating disorder then educate them about its spectrum and treatment.

People who get treatment for eating disorders often recover and go on to lead healthy lives. It’s better to recognize it early rather than face it’s shortcomings.

There are different levels of care, including:

•         Outpatient therapy

•         Intensive outpatient therapy

•         Inpatient therapy

Your doctor will get to know you and your symptoms in order to give you the right kind of treatment.

If left untreated, people with eating disorders can develop life-threatening complications.

Some people even need to shift to hospitals and emergency care rooms.


Eating disorders are a critical issue that can affect your mental and physical health. If you think you have an eating disorder, don’t be embarrassed about seeking help. Millions of people around the world are suffering from this disorder and you are not alone if you face the same. Always be aware enough about your health and reach out for help before things go downhill.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Does Fiona Apple have an eating disorder?

Was Fiona Apple Bulimic?

No, Fiona Apple was suffering from Anorexia Nervosa and not Bulimia. 

What was Fiona Apple famous for?

Fiona Apple was famous for her singing career. Moreover she was also a Three Grammy Awards, two MTV video music awards and Billboard music award winner.

Which population is most likely to have an eating disorder?

Women and Girls are more likely to have this disorder due to the body image standards that exist for them in society and social media platforms.

Why would someone have an eating disorder?

Our mental and physical health disturbances both determine the likeliness of afflicting this disorder. Mental trauma like body shaming, rape etc along with genetics and biology increase the risk of developing eating disorders.

How does anorexia affect learning?

Pupils with this disorder often have issues like concentration, memory loss and information processing due to the impact it puts on their mental health.

Why schools should teach about eating disorders?

Early awareness is essential to overcome a disorder and therefore maintaining a positive and healthy attitude towards life and body is crucial in order to prevent any student to adopt self doubt or body image issues. Students who are already having an eating disorder can thus have a way to come out of their suffering before things get lethal.


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