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Adrian Chiles has admitted he has questioned whether he has an eating disorder as he sheds light on his ‘problematic eating’ in a new column.

The TV presenter, 55, confessed he has ‘no off switch’ when it comes to food and can only tackle the inability to stop eating, by not eating at all.

Adrian said that sometimes this means going without food all day until the evening, so that the ‘just can’t stop issue’ only arises once a day.

The former One Show presenter insisted he ‘doesn’t want another disorder’ because he already has ‘quite enough’, after previously detailing his ADHD diagnosis.

Adrian’s comments come on Eating Disorder Awareness Week, which this year is specifically focusing on eating disorders in men.

Candid: Adrian Chiles has admitted he has questioned whether he has an eating disorder as he sheds light on his 'problematic eating' in a new column

Candid: Adrian Chiles has admitted he has questioned whether he has an eating disorder as he sheds light on his ‘problematic eating’ in a new column

Discussing the topic in his column for the Guardian, Adrian compared his relationship to an alcoholic who says they have ‘no off switch’, which he said in terms of alcohol he cannot relate to.

Adrian said: ‘But when it comes to food, it’s a different story. Here, my ‘off switch’ is useless. I don’t know whether this counts as a disorder – I don’t want another disorder; I’ve been diagnosed with quite enough to be getting on with – but it sure can feel like it.’W

What is an eating disorder?

An eating disorder is a mental health condition where you use the control of food to cope with feelings and other situations.

Unhealthy eating behaviours may include eating too much or too little or worrying about your weight or body shape.

Anyone can get an eating disorder, but teenagers between 13 and 17 are mostly affected.

With treatment, most people can recover from an eating disorder.

Source: NHS 

Discussing how he currently tackles the issue, Adrian said: ‘The only way I can deal with this inability to stop eating is not to start. I try not to eat all day, then at least the just-can’t-stop issue has to be tackled only once, in the evening. Suboptimal, hardly dealing with any underlying causes, but it’s the best I’ve got.’

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Giving an example of when he couldn’t find his ‘off-switch’, Adrian recalled: ‘A few years back, when I was on a morning train from London to Manchester, having already had breakfast at home, the man came past with a platter of bacon and sausage sandwiches. I could neither resist nor decide which to go for, so he gave me both. I ate both.’

Adrian explained how more than half of men with eating disorders have never received treatment and a third have never sought it, according to eating disorder charity Beat.

During the column, Adrian referenced the disorders he had previously been diagnosed with. 

In 2020, Adrian revealed that had been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and has been prescribed amphetamines.

At the time, the former Match of the Day 2 host said that he first suspected he had ADD four years before – but didn’t bother to find out more after being handed a bill for £1,400 by a private doctor.

He said, however, that he eventually decided to find out if he had the condition just over a year ago – and was promptly diagnosed, and prescribed amphetamines, which he said had ‘changed his life for the better’.

Honest: The TV presenter, 55, confessed he has 'no off switch' when it comes to food and can only tackle the inability to stop eating, by not eating at all (pictured 2022)

Honest: The TV presenter, 55, confessed he has ‘no off switch’ when it comes to food and can only tackle the inability to stop eating, by not eating at all (pictured 2022)

Speaking in the G2 supplement in The Guardian, he said: ‘I’ve been getting treatment for attention deficit disorder (ADD) for more than a year now.’

He said his condition sometimes led to him unable to ‘focus on anything’ for more than 15 seconds – or led to him to focus exclusively on one thing ‘for hours on end’, adding: ‘Both of which, oddly, are indicators of ADD.’

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The star said that his condition meant he was always forgetting things and fidgeting as well as ‘jabbering on (and) taking up new hobbies/obsessions all the time’.

He said he eventually went back to see the ‘shrink’ he saw four years ago, adding: ‘So back I went to see the shrink who told me I should try some amphetamine-based medication as soon as I’d had an ECG to check my ticker was up to it.

‘It was, and from day one the pills worked brilliantly. My mood instantly lifted, and I was just better all around.

‘The therapy was essential, too. Without it, the meds were so uplifting that I felt there was a risk they might just help me do a lot of stupid things faster – but with even more energy.’

He added: ‘Who wouldn’t feel better dropping an amphetamine every morning?’

His details about his health came after Adrian revealed how counting the alcohol units he consumed saved him from a dangerous level of drinking.

The presenter said he had cut down on the booze significantly since keeping score, something he resisted doing for ‘a long time’.

At one point the Radio 5 Live host admitted to drinking as many as 38 units in a day, before getting involved in the eye-opening BBC documentary Drinkers Like Me.

‘I’ve definitely drunk much less. That came down to counting it. I resisted counting for a long time,’ he told the Series Linked podcast on Thursday.

Keeping score: His details about his health came after Adrian revealed how counting the alcohol units he consumed saved him from a dangerous level of drinking

Keeping score: His details about his health came after Adrian revealed how counting the alcohol units he consumed saved him from a dangerous level of drinking

‘The first time I ever counted was the first day of filming. West Brom were playing Liverpool then it was my mate’s 40th birthday. I totted them all up in the morning, it was something like 38 units.

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‘And it didn’t even feel a big drinking day to me. I thought, hang on a bit, this is dodgy.’

Adrian has previously been open about his relationship with alcohol, saying how he had had a pint every day of his life since he was 15.

‘My drinking habits go back a long way. At university, if anyone I liked had said they didn’t drink, well, I probably wouldn’t have ended up being friends with them,’ he said.  

And after being axed mid-contract from his high-pressure role on ITV’s Daybreak in 2015, he began to self-medicate with alcohol before receiving a diagnosis of anxiety.

ABOUT ATTENTION-DEFICIT / HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural condition defined by inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

It affects around five per cent of children in the US. Some 3.6 per cent of boys and 0.85 per cent of girls suffer in the UK. 

Symptoms typically appear at an early age and become more noticeable as a child grows. These can also include:

  • Constant fidgeting 
  • Poor concentration
  • Excessive movement or talking
  • Acting without thinking
  • Little or no sense of danger 
  • Careless mistakes
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Difficulty organising tasks
  • Inability to listen or carry out instructions 

Most cases are diagnosed between six and 12 years old. Adults can also suffer, but there is less research into this.

ADHD’s exact cause is unclear but is thought to involve genetic mutations that affect a person’s brain function and structure.

Premature babies and those with epilepsy or brain damage are more at risk. 

ADHD is also linked to anxiety, depression, insomnia, Tourette’s and epilepsy.  

There is no cure. 

A combination of medication and therapy is usually recommended to relieve symptoms and make day-to-day life easier. 

Source: NHS Choices 

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