10/02/2012 02:39 GMT

Lady Gaga Opens Up About Bulimia Battle

Lady Gaga has opened up about her issues with food, revealing she suffered from bulimia as a teenager and only overcame her problem after it threatened her voice.

The singer made the confession in a candid chat with Arnold Schwarzenegger's estranged wife Maria Shriver at a young women's conference in Los Angeles.

Gaga explained her bulimia began as a teenager after she suffered self-esteem issues, and her Italian father did all he could to prevent her from slimming down in such an unhealthy way.

She told the audience: "I used to throw up all the time in high school. So I'm not that confident. I wanted to be a skinny little ballerina but I was a voluptuous little Italian girl whose dad had meatballs on the table every night.

"I used to come home and say, 'Dad, why do you always give us this food? I need to be thin.' And he'd say, 'Eat your spaghetti'."

Gaga's desire to become a singer eventually helped her overcome her eating disorder.

She adds: "It made my voice bad, so I had to stop. The acid on your vocal chords - it's very bad."

The pop star is now adored by millions of fans across the globe, but she admits every day is a battle to cope with life in the spotlight.

Gaga explains: "Weight is still a struggle. Every video I'm in, every magazine cover, they stretch you - they make you perfect. It's not real life."

She now wants to use her experiences to help young fans who may be suffering similar issues, adding: "I'm gonna say this about girls. The dieting wars have got to stop. Everyone just knock it off!

"Because at the end of the day, it's affecting kids your age. And it's making girls sick.

"It's really hard, but... you've got to talk to somebody about it."


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