Former Hollyoaks star Melissa Wells reveals secret battle against eating disorder

Melissa played stripper Loretta Jones in the C4 soap

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Actress Melissa Wells battled a secret eating disorder for seven years of her life, she has revealed.

The former Hollyoaks star, now 28, says the illness was very “restrictive”, but is proud to say she is now free of the disorder.

Melissa starred as Loretta opposite Kevin Sacre (Credit: Lime Pictures)

Read more: Hollyoaks: Talia Grant on living with autism and her very famous parents

Coventry-born Melissa, who played Loretta Jones in the C4 soap, appeared on Loose Women on Thursday (12 July) to discuss how her issues stemmed from peer pressure.

She told the panellists: “I actually developed an eating disorder when I was about 16 while at performing arts college. It’s a really restrictive disorder, I barely ate anything.

“But then it would swing the other way to emotional eating and then bulimia. It ended up being seven years of my life.”

Melissa Wells opened up about her eating disorder on Loose Women (Credit: ITV)

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She added: “I think it’s really common around that age, because young girls are becoming women, and they are unsure how to fit in to their new bodies. But for me I kind of started dieting to fit in with people at college.”

Talking about her bulimia as part of a bigger piece on addiction, Melissa admitted: “Everyone was scrutinising their bodies and I wanted to be liked and to fit in. But I was such a perfectionist that I took it too far.”

Agreeing with Nadia Sawalha who said she turned to food to help her “eat down feelings”, Melissa said: “A lot of us get into this relationship with food because it’s easy to control.”

Guess panellist Chizzy Akudolu also opened up about her own issues with dieting, and broke down when discussing her shopping addiction.

Melanie has now written a book about her experiences, entitled Hungry For More.

She is also a health and eating psychology coach, who encourages people to stop dieting for good.

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