In his first full-length interview since the death of her iconic sister, Amy Winehouse‘s older brother, Alex Winehouse, told the Observer Magazine that his sister’s eating disorder is what ultimately took her life versus her presumed battles with addiction.

He said that bulimia “left her weaker, and more susceptible” and added, “She would have died eventually, the way she was going, but what really killed her was the bulimia.”

“Had she not have had an eating disorder, she would have been physically stronger,” he argued. Her struggles with food started when she was 17, when the singer had a group of friends who “were all doing it.”

Alex explained: “They’d put loads of rich sauces on their food, scarf it down and throw it up. They stopped doing it, but Amy never really stopped. We all knew she was doing it but it’s almost impossible [to tackle], especially if you’re not talking about it.”