News Wednesday July 7, 2010

Is Tyra Banks' weight loss cause for concern?

From Brazilian model Giselle to the rapper 50 Cent, the past month has seen a few worrying cases of extreme celebrity weight loss.

Now the face of hit TV show America’s Top Model, Tyra Banks, seems to have joined the fray as newspapers have reported that she looked gaunt and skinny when she touched down at Heathrow Airport in London earlier this week.

The drop in the supermodel’s size has puzzled fashion commentators as Banks has previously been known to champion the larger lady. When a photograph appeared in gossip magazines earlier this year, showing her with a fuller figure having gained 30lbs, Banks responded to the scathing reports with a defiant statement on her show, proclaiming proudly: “kiss my fat a**!”

Perhaps the stinging comments got to her eventually though because the latest images in the papers show her looking so slim as to almost be unwell.

Some would speculate that this is an example of the harsh effect that entertainment reporting can have on celebrity’s health. Gossip magazines have a relentless and close-to obsessive interest in how much famous people weigh, whether they have cellulite, and other such issues to do with their personal well-being.

Body perception

In a worst-case scenario, extreme weight loss can be caused by anorexia, a condition whereby someone refuses to maintain a healthy body weight and is obsessively fearful about gaining weight.

Recent research has shown that our brains can trick us into perceiving our body to be larger than it actually is, something that experts say could contribute to disorders like anorexia.

On the other end of the weight spectrum lies obesity, a problem that a quarter of adults in the UK deal with. If you are struggling with any kind of eating or weight-related problem, you should consult with a doctor immediately.

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