A GWENT MP has revealed his teenage battle with body dysmorphia and criticised the media for its role in promoting unhealthy body images.

Speaking during a Parliamentary debate on stigma around eating disorders and supporting people with the conditions, Islwyn MP Chris Evans revealed his own battle with body image.

Body dysmorphia is when someone spends an inordinate amount of time focusing on a perceived flaw - often unnoticeable to other people - with a specific aspect of their body or appearance.

"When I was a teenager, my big role models were Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone," he said.

"Every time their films came out, I wanted to look like them. It got to the point where I worked out twice a day. I lifted weights constantly and followed a diet.

"I suffered from all the causes of body dysmorphia. I never looked good enough."

Saying the 'trigger' behind his condition was his parent's divorce coupled with exam stress, Mr Evans said he was only able to overcome it when he injured his arms and was no longer able to lift weights.

The Labour MP also singled out men's health and lifestyle magazines for promoting unhealthy body images and putting people under "immense pressure", as well as actor Mark Wahlberg, who recently hit the press for setting out his training regime, which involves getting up at 2.30am at exercising for more than an hour and a half before 6am.

"Nobody in the media condemned him," he said. "Everyone complimented him on his discipline. That is madness.

"What message are we sending to young people - that it is good to look like someone from Love Island?

"When I am on the beach in Porthcawl, no one looks like they are on Love Island."

He also urged young people struggling with body image or eating disorders to seek help, saying: "Talk to someone. Seek out the help you need.

"It does not have to be from a professional - it just has to be from someone you trust.

"If you come forward, you will find that people do not judge you but try to help you if they can.”

For support with eating disorders or body image speak to your GP.

Confidential support is also available from the charity Beat via 0808 801 0677.