New research: One in three musicians suffers an eating disorder

New research: One in three musicians suffers an eating disorder


norman lebrecht

July 16, 2017

The Anglo-Greek pianist Marianna Kapsetaki has published a paper at Imperial College, London showing a high incidence of eating disorders among musicians.

Our screening tools for EDs showed a high prevalence of EDs in musicians: the EDE-Q Global Score (EDE-QGS) showed pathological values in 18.66% of the musicians and when questioned about lifetime prevalence, 32.3% of the musicians answered positively. 

In other words, at some point in their lives one in three musicians have an eating disorder.

The risk factors, according to Dr Kapsetaki, are: increased perfectionism, depression, anxiety and stress due to the demands of their job.

You can access the paper here.


Dr Kapsetaki, a qualified MD, is currently studying for a PhD in neuroscience at Imperial’s Department of Medicine. She tours as a piano duo (pictured) with her sister, Stephanie.

EDs are a suppressed topic among musicians. Last summer where, after a recital by a major award-winner, I was told that two gastric surgeons came forward from the audience to offer her immediate band surgery.



  • Frederick West says:

    Lets look on the bright side though – 67.7% don’t have an ED, surely a positive outcome. Glass half full/empty…

    • Paddy Murphy says:

      It sure would be worse if it was the trottin’ disorder and you can get that over in Spain easily!

  • Caruio Gaspaleiri says:

    The author is also a pianist:

  • Luigi Nonono says:

    Women are not the only ones to have eating disorders. But they are overly concerned about their looks rather than developing compelling artistry. Shame on the promoters for exploiting their looks to get ahead.

  • Teo Shiori says:

    Congratulations to this very talented pianist and doctor.
    One half of the very talented twins ‘Kapsetaki duo’ (