Letter: Byron's yo-yo diet

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The poet Byron undoubtedly suffered eating disorders ("Byron was severely anorexic", 8 October) but the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa seems incomplete. "Yo-yo dieter" or "bulimic" would be more apt, given that Byron was obese as often as he was emaciated.

In his own words: "When I do dine, I gorge like an Arab or a Boa snake". In his fat phases, his appetite knew no bounds. He binged on vast meals of sturgeon, brawn and plum puddings and bloated up accordingly. Then he would follow his vinegar fasts to take it all off again; and so on, in a self-loathing cycle of bingeing and fasting.

BEE WILSON

Cambridge

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