Former One Direction star Zayn Malik has opened up about his past struggle with an eating disorder, crediting his family and time away from the limelight with helping him overcome his problem. Speaking in a new interview with The Times, the 24-year-old said his issue with food is now under control thanks to the help of his loved ones. He explained: "It was a control thing. Every area of my life was so regimented and controlled it was the one area where I could say, 'No, I'm not eating that'. Once I got over the control, the eating just came back into place, super naturally."
Praising his mother Trisha in particular, he added: "I came back to the UK and spent some time with my mum and got some TLC, and she cooked me food and I got back in touch, mentally, with a lot of the things I'd lost." The British star - who found fame with One Direction on The X Factor in 2010 - also shared that he is in a much better place now. He continued: "I now have no problem with anxiety. It was something I was dealing with in the band."
Zayn Malik revealed his mother Trisha helped him overcome his eating disorder
Towards the end of last year, in his autobiography - aptly named Zayn - the star discussed his past struggle, and said that seeing pictures taken during his time with One Direction that made him realise how "ill" he really was. "When I look back at images of myself from around November 2014, I can see how ill I was," he wrote. "Something I've never talked about in public before, but which I have come to terms with since leaving the band, is that I was suffering from an eating disorder. It wasn't as though I had any concerns about my weight or anything like that. I'd just go for days - sometimes two or three days straight - without eating anything at all. It got quite serious, although at the time I didn't recognise it for what it was."
After launching his solo career in 2016, Zayn was forced to cancel a string of live shows after his anxiety left him unable to perform. At the time he released a statement which read: "Dear Fans I have been working over the last three months to overcome my extreme anxiety around major live solo performances. I feel I am making progress but I have today acknowledged that I do not feel sufficiently confident to move forward with the planned show in Dubai in October. I am assured that all tickets will be refunded. I am truly sorry to disappoint you. I hope to see you all soon. Thank you to all my fans who support me globally. With love and respect always, Zayn."