Home and Away spoilers follow from Australian episodes, which some UK readers may prefer to avoid.
Home and Away has launched a new issue-based storyline for Nikau Parata on Australian screens.
Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo) has started working as a model and is keen to impress his demanding new agent Sienna Blake.
Although Nikau has already made strong progress by impressing clients, booking regular jobs and building up a social media following, he's keen to take his career to the next level.
A worrying new direction for the storyline began on Australian screens on Thursday (May 27) as Nikau's fellow model Allegra Freeman gave him some worrying advice.
As Nikau opened up over how he felt under pressure to stay in shape for his new job, Allegra suggested that he should start taking an appetite suppressant.
Allegra handed over a small supply of the suppressant to Nikau, explaining that it was produced by a friend of hers and she uses it herself, believing that it's all part of the job.
Nikau's girlfriend Bella Nixon (Courtney Miller) was understandably troubled when he confided in her about Allegra's suggestion, especially as – with no ingredients listed – he had no idea what he'd be putting into his body. Bella's concern turned to relief when Nikau clarified that he had no intention of using it.
However, when Bella suggested throwing it out in the garbage, Nikau held back and secretly decided to keep hold of it.
Nikau also decided to join the local gym for the first time and pushed himself hard with multiple workouts per day.
Other scenes saw him starting to lie to his friends and family about food, avoiding meals by claiming that he'd already eaten.
Home and Away is expected to continue exploring this issue in the coming weeks, as Nikau faces additional pressures and deals with the darker side of the modelling world.
Laura McDonald, who plays Allegra, recently hinted at this storyline when she told Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper: "We definitely delve into disordered eating for sure."
Home and Away fans in the UK will see these scenes on Channel 5 in early July.
Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15pm and 6pm on Channel 5 (UK) and Mondays to Thursdays at 7pm on Channel 7 (Australia).
Beat (www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk) is a charity which raises awareness and understanding of eating disorders, and supports those affected by them. Beat now has a one-to-one secure messaging service. Its phone helpline for those aged 18 and over is 0808 801 0677, and there's also a dedicated Youthline for those under 18 – 0808 801 0711.
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