Hollywood's Dangerous Weight-Loss Secret

The recent death of 21-year-old anorexic model Ana Carolina Reston has many people concerned that the extremely skinny ideal in fashion and in Hollywood is spinning out of control.

Size zero and smaller is the goal for many starlets and young tabloid readers, who follow in their footsteps, and extreme dieting is raging through Hollywood like a competitive sport.

In part one of The Early Show series "Losing It" E! Entertainment News anchor Giuliana DePandi reports that the pressure on actresses and models to be thin causes some to find dangerous ways to find ways to speed their weight-loss along.

More people seem to be turning to drugs like Clenbuterol, which is approved in the United States to treat asthma in horses. The side effect of Clenbuterol, or "Clen," is that it builds muscle and results in temporary weight loss.

"I hear it a lot in my gym, and it's a dangerous drug," Hollywood fitness trainer Jackie Warner said. "There isn't a magic pill. If there was … I'm a business person, I'd be selling it; I'd be taking it."

But in Hollywood, some people are willing to trade their health to be thin. Celebrities and models are dissected on the red carpets and runways and face a lot of pressure to look perfect.

"If you're thin, you're successful," said Ken Baker, West Coast executive editor at Us Weekly. "It has become this epidemic that you have to be thin, and too thin is never thin enough."

"It's brutal, Hollywood is brutal," Warner said. "It's getting very intense because the competition between especially young actresses is so extreme."

Scarlett Pomers, who starred on The CW sitcom "Reba," is recovering from an eating disorder and says many young actresses feel they have to get skinny if they want to work.

"I definitely have heard horror stories from other actresses and actors, too, that have been told, 'Well, lose 15 pounds and you can get the part,' " she said. "It really just puts you in this place where you kind of don't know what's normal or not."

"A lot of these women in Hollywood are under such extreme pressure that they'll go to extreme measures to get the look they want," Baker said.

Some say Clenbuterol has become Hollywood's dirty little secret. Hollywood hairstylist Ricardo Reyes has used the drug to drop weight.

"Why get there in three months when you can get there in a month?" he said.

  • Caitlin Johnson

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