Ed Sheeran Speaks Candidly About Past Issues With Disordered Eating

The Thinking Out Loud singer shared that he has "a real eating problem" during a wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone.
Ed Sheeran on the red carpet of last year's Brit Awards
Ed Sheeran on the red carpet of last year's Brit Awards
Jim Dyson via Getty Images

Ed Sheeran has spoken candidly about his past experiences of disordered eating.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, the chart-topping musician shared that in the early years of his career, he found it difficult to be compared physically to other male artists he worked with, specifically naming Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes and One Direction.

I’m self-conscious anyway, but you get into an industry where you’re getting compared to every other pop star,” he said. “I was in the One Direction wave, and I’m like, ’Well, why don’t I have a six pack?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, because you love kebabs and drink beer.’

“Then you do songs with Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes. All these people have fantastic figures.”

He continued: “I found myself doing what Elton [John] talks about in his book — gorging, and then it would come up again.”

Ed during a performance at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
Ed during a performance at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images

“There’s certain things that, as a man talking about them, I feel mad uncomfortable,” Ed explained. “I know people are going to see it a type of way, but it’s good to be honest about them. Because so many people do the same thing and hide it as well.”

Ed went on to tell the music publication that he has “a real eating problem”, describing himself as a “binge eater”.

“I’m a binge-everything,” he added. “But I’m now more of a binge exerciser, and a binge dad. And work, obviously.”

The NHS website describes binge eating disorder as “regularly eating a lot of food over a short period of time until you’re uncomfortably full”.

It adds that people of all ages and genders “can get binge eating disorder”, although it “usually starts in the late teens or early 20s”.

Earlier this month, the Grammy winner announced his new album, – (pronounced Subtract), would be coming later this year, and was inspired by a series of events that he said “changed my life, my mental health, and ultimately the way I viewed music and art” in the past 12 months.

This included his close friend Jamal Edwards’ death, as well as his wife Cherry Seaborn’s health issues, after she was diagnosed with a tumour while pregnant with their second child.

Help and support:

– Beat, Adult Helpline: 0808 801 0677 and Youthline: 0808 801 0711 or email help@beateatingdisorders.org.uk (adults) fyp@beateatingdisorders.org.uk (youth support)
– Samaritans, open 24 hours a day, on 116 123
– Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393


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