LOS ANGELES - NOV 23: Zayn Malik at the 2014 American Music AwaZayn Malik was a member of one of the biggest boy bands of all time and then, one day, he just decided to leave One Direction and branch out on his own. It shocked fans all around the world but many applauded him for doing what makes him happy.

Eating Disorder Concerns

In the past, there have been reports that Malik suffers from an eating disorder. In addressing this, Malik has downplayed the rumors and told the Associated Press that there was another explanation for his inadequate nutrition.

“It was just more down to losing track of, you know, actually eating, and being super busy and getting caught up with other things that 17- or 18-year-olds do, which normally entails them going out, drinking or partying. I was never diagnosed.”

While he knows his situation best, it is worth noting that many busy teenagers still find time to eat. In fact, there are many other celebrities in that age group who have never seemed to be struggling with disordered eating.

We do know  that eating disorders are more common among females but that males still make up between five and 15 percent of patients treated with anorexia and bulimia. Hopefully, he’s telling the truth and he simply got too caught up in the One Direction schedule and lifestyle to pay proper attention to his health.

Anxiety Connection

In a letter written to Time magazine this week, Malik also confessed to dealing with anxiety. Just last month, he had to cancel a solo concert because of his struggles.

He explained: “Unfortunately, anxiety, which has haunted me throughout the last few months around live performances has got the better of me… with the magnitude of the event, I have suffered the worst anxiety of my career.”

He went on to describe how he feels, saying: “It’s this thing that swells up and blocks out your rational thought processes. Even when you know you want to do something, know that it will be good for you, that you’ll enjoy it when you’re doing it, the anxiety is telling you a different story. It’s a constant battle within yourself.”

It’s great that he’s being so honest about this for a variety of reasons. First, his fans will know that he canceled his show for a good reason. More importantly, it will open up a dialogue about anxiety among his legions of followers.

On a side note, we do know that people coping with eating disorders often struggle with anxiety. For anyone who may be suffering, contact the National Eating Disorder Association at 1-800-931-2237 or speak to a healthcare professional. You don’t have to go through this alone!