The former deputy prime minister John Prescott has revealed he suffered from bulimia, it has been reported.
Mr Prescott writes in today's Sunday Times: "I've never confessed it before. Out of shame, I suppose, or embarrassment or just because it's such a strange thing for someone like me to confess to.
"People normally associate it with young women - anorexic girls, models trying to keep their weight down, or women in stressful situations, like Princess Diana."
He adds: "I'm sure it was to do with stress. I wasn't doing it all the time, and there would be gaps of weeks and months, but during those years when we first got into power, I let things get on top of me and took refuge in stuffing my face."
Mr Prescott details his battle with the illness in his memoirs, which are to be serialised in the newspaper in May.
He says that the condition was stress-related, spanning from as early as the 1980s when he was in Labour's shadow cabinet.
Although he tried to keep his bulimia secret from wife Pauline, she realised what was wrong and persuaded him to see a doctor, the newspaper reports.
A consultant confirmed he had bulimia nervosa.
Prescott, who resigned last June and will retire as an MP at the next election, says he recovered from the illness more than a year ago.
He is supporting an NHS campaign to raise awareness of eating disorders.