Kirsten Haglund, Miss America, Once Battled Anorexia

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Just three years ago, newly crowned Miss America Kirsten Haglund was eating so little her concerned parents "dragged me to the doctor."

She was diagnosed with anorexia after the lack of nutrition caused Kirsten's collar bones to stick out, her heart rate to drop and her life to suffer.

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"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."

Kirsten Haglund plans to spend her yearlong reign trying to raise awareness of eating disorders, promoting the pageant and helping the Children's Miracle Network, while maintaining a healthy lifestyle and exercise.

To clinch the crown, the Farmington Hills, Mich., native sang "Over the Rainbow" and strutted around in a crowd-pleasing strut in a black bikini. Hot!

"You have to have curves," a victorious Kirsten Haglund said proudly of winning her battle with anorexia. "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, she said.

"I love chocolate," she said. "Chocolates are a girl's best friend."

A 5-foot 8-inch blonde, Haglund said she doesn't disclose her weight to avoid setting standards for youths obsessed with getting lighter.

After the crazy stories about Tara Conner, Katie Rees and other troubled beauty queens, here's hoping Kirsten Haglund sets a great example.

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Kirsten Haglund Biography

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Kirsten Haglund was crowned Miss America in early 2008. Prior to assuming that prestigious title, Kirsten Haglund was Miss Michigan. She... More »
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Kirsten Haglund