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New Miss America Once Battled Anorexia
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Just three years ago, newly crowned Miss America Kirsten Haglund was eating tiny portions of food and became so thin her concerned parents "dragged me to the doctor."
Haglund was diagnosed with anorexia, and the lack of nutrition caused her collar bones to stick out, her heart rate to drop and her relationships to suffer.
"I would feel fatigued walking up six stairs," the 19-year-old Haglund said Sunday, a day after being crowned Miss America 2008. "I was a completely different person. It's not a pretty sight."
Haglund plans to spend her yearlong reign, trying to raise awareness of eating disorders, promoting the pagaent and helping the Children's Miracle Network while maintaining a healthy lifestyle and exercise.
To win her crown, the Farmington Hills, Mich., native sang "Over the Rainbow" and walked a crowd-pleasing strut in a black and gold bikini to clinch the title.
"You have to have curves," she said proudly. "You can't look like a stick-thin model."
The aspiring Broadway star even ate the silver medallion chocolates left on her pillow in her suite at the host site, the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.
"Yes, oh my gosh, yes," she said. "I love chocolate. Chocolates are a girl's best friend."
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