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Old 11-10-2011, 12:38 PM   #1
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TV Tracey Gold To Host Eating Disorder Series

Former Anorexic Tracey Gold Mentors Other Women Through Eating Disorder Battles in Emotional New Reality Series
by Daisy Dumas
Nov. 9, 2011

There seems to be no territory - childbirth, polygamy or obesity, to name a few - too private for the curious eyes of a million television viewers.

Now, a new Lifestyle channel TV show is set to make a subject of anorexia and bulimia.

The shocking six-episode show, "Starving Secrets", will star Tracey Gold, who shot to fame in the Eighties for her very public battle with anorexia while filming sitcom, "Growing Pains".

The actress' well-documented 20-year battle with the disease stands her in good stead to help ten women who are in the throes of dealing with anorexia or bulimia, and, according to the network, "to reach them in ways no one else can."

It is, arguably, high time for a frank look at the diseases. According to NIMH statistics, around eight per cent of American women are affected by anorexia and bulimia in their lifetime and of those, ten to 25 per cent will die from the eating disorders.

The show tells the story of a group of sufferers, aged between 19 and 43, one of whom is 28-year-old Rivka, from Toronto, who has fought anorexia since she was at high school.

Documenting her move from the Canada to LA, where she underwent an intense eight-week treatment under the gaze of the camera, the unscripted show is unashamedly honest and raw.

According to The Daily Beast, Rivka's emotional turmoil, tears and highly personal meetings with Ms Gold are all laid out in the open.

Speaking about the series, which will premiere on December 2, Ms Gold told news site that the show will be as tactful and "tasteful" as possible - far from the potentially voyeuristic, exploitative viewing a show focusing on others' hard-to-understand problems could be.

"It’s not an easy show to watch, but it’s riveting and it really lets you know what it’s like,' says ms Gold, who admits the project has 'torn her apart."

At her lowest point in her early twenties, the actress weighed just 80 pounds.

"When we first started, every story tore me apart. I had such a close relationship to the subjects. As we got further along, I was able to get some distance," she told the site.

Gold became the "face of anorexia" in the Nineties, opening up about the secretive, hidden disease in ways that others in the film and TV industry had not.

"It was a personal kind of thing at a vulnerable age. I didn't know how to really process that."

She told the Daily Best that she believes a plotline about her character, Carol Seaver, being mocked for being fat had a lot to blame for her illness.

"I think the fat jokes did a disservice to young girls in America, because I was never fat. It was really hurting my feelings. It wasn't about Carol Seaver. If you're making fun of Carol Seaver's body, you're making fun of Tracey's body. It was a personal kind of thing at a vulnerable age. I didn't know how to really process that," she recalls.

Now recovered and living with her husband and four sons, she hopes that the public stage of reality TV will help the vulnerable individuals on "Starving Secrets" to face their ordeals successfully.

So far, things are looking good for Rivka, reports the news site, who says she "went through a really dramatic change in eight months."

Possible future series of the show may feature men, says Ms Gold, who, in keeping with recent studies on male anorexia, said that "men are more into the way they look."

Certainly, it makes sense for the show to address the gender imbalance of the first series.

A 2007 U.S. study revealed that the disease is on the rise in young men - and that one in four eating disorder sufferers is a male.

"Starving Secrets" will premiere on Lifestyle network, December 2 at 10pm.
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