Katie Couric has revealed her past struggles with bulimia, an eating disorder, according to Health. She also revealed how her body image continues to concern her even today.
In a new interview with PEOPLE, Couric reflected back on the seven or eight years as a teenager and young adult when she had bulimia.
She wrote about her eating disorder in her new memoir, Going There, sharing that it was societal pressures and a search for perfectionism that were leading contributors to her body image issues.
The 64-year-old told PEOPLE, “I think there was an aspect of perfectionism and high achieving that was very much a part of our family, and that contributed to my discontent about my body. There was so much pressure on women, and dieting was so much a part of the culture.”
Also called bulimia nervosa, bulimia is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder, according to Mayo Clinic. People with bulimia may secretly binge, eating large amounts of food with a loss of control over the eating, and then purge, trying to get rid of the extra calories in an unhealthy way.
In 2012, Couric first revealed she had bulimia throughout college and for two years after graduating.
“I know this rigidity, this feeling that if you eat one thing that’s wrong, you’re full of self-loathing and then you punish yourself,” she said on her talk show at the time. “Whether it’s one cookie or a stick of gum that isn’t sugarless … sometimes [I would] beat myself up for that.”
In her latest interview, Couric said, “Like so many women of our generation, I aspired to be thin and lanky and all the things I’m not. I think back on my formative years when Twiggy was all the rage and that period of time in the ’60s. And there seemed to be an ideal body type, which was extremely thin.”
Couric said she is no longer obsessed over her weight, but she has some lingering impacts when it comes to her body image. She said, “Sometimes I flat-out refuse. I don’t want it to ruin my day.”
She explained that food “still plays a slightly outsized role in my consciousness, but not nearly as much as it did.” But she does “try to emphasize healthy eating and taking care of yourself” to her two daughters.