America’s Got Talent’s Jackie Evancho opens up about devastating health issues

This article contains a discussion of eating disorders.

Jackie Evancho is a musical prodigy. In 2010, the singer was just 10 years old when she was crowned runner-up on America’s Got Talent. But despite her professional success, Evancho has dealt with some challenging personal issues.

In a 2019 interview with Access Hollywood, Jackie Evancho opened up about her eating disorder. She revealed how going through puberty became a major trigger for her body image issues. Although she hid her eating disorder for some time, her parents eventually noticed that she was skipping meals and urged her to seek help. Evancho explained, “I was in denial even throughout the treatment… I said I was going for treatment. And ultimately it helped me.”

On July 6, Evancho tweeted, “I’m opening up even more about my struggles with anorexia in hopes of raising awareness,” linking an article to a very open discussion with people about their eating disorder. Let’s take a closer look at how Evancho opened up.

Jackie Evancho shared her story to raise awareness

Jackie Evancho’s battle with anorexia began at age 15, per People. She struggled with her body image, restricted her food intake and increased her range of motion. In 2021, a car accident left Evancho with a broken back. She learned she had osteoporosis, a disease that causes significant bone weakness, according to the NIH. According to Evancho, she discovered that her eating issues were causing osteoporosis, which further complicated her eating disorder. “I had to eat [for my bones] to heal and that really messed with my eating issues because I was gaining weight to heal,” she told People.

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Thankfully, the star is now in recovery and is following the guidelines of a nutritionist and therapist to heal both physically and mentally. Evancho told People, “I’m still struggling, but I’m struggling, which is good because a year ago I totally got into it, and it’s so dark and painful.” She explained, “I’m not healthy yet, but I was able to implement healthy coping skills and better eating habits.”

Fans have expressed their support for Evancho on social media. One user replied: “That’s very brave Jackie. I have no idea what that meant to you, but your openness deserves the utmost respect.” Another person wrote, “I understand your struggle very well. What you are doing is very important, a real example, to raise awareness of a very common problem.”

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA’s Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also get 24/7 Crisis Support via SMS (send NEDA to 741-741).