Stephanie Pratt is denying that The Hills made her bulimic -- a claim that was recently attributed to her on the cover of Us Weekly's latest issue.

"The Hills did not make me bulimic," Pratt told MTV News in a Thursday report.

"It was my own issues with self-esteem, and if anything, my life on The Hills has only helped me get healthy, 'cause I know how lucky I am to have this job and to have the chance to be a role model. And if it weren't for The Hills, I don't know how long I would have had those dark stages in my life."

The Us Weekly cover story, which was based on an interview Pratt did with the magazine, claims she began bingeing and purging after watching herself appear alongside Lauren Conrad in one of the first scenes she filmed after joining The Hills in 2007.

"I was horrified," the 23-year-old Pratt told Us. "I remember saying, 'I can't believe how huge I look walking over to Lauren.'"

However Pratt told MTV News she was battling an eating disorder before she joined The Hills and claims the Us Weekly interview was never intended to appear as a cover story.

"This was never actually going to be a cover story. I never approached [the magazine] to do a cover story," she told MTV News, instead stating she was initially approached by Us to do an article on The Hills new season.

Still, Pratt acknowledged she did see the Us interview as an opportunity to help parents recognize whether their children has an eating disorder.

"My mom and dad were very hands-on parents. They were never on vacations or anything like that, and I did everything right under their noses -- I did drugs, I threw up my food -- in the same house as them. And for them to never see that, my mom was just like, 'What did I do wrong?'" Pratt told MTV News.

"If she had known the signs of what to look for, I could have been helped a lot earlier.  I'm so thankful I got professional help and I'm healthy now, but I just really wanted to do this to help all of those moms to see those signs in their daughters. [Bulimia is] such an ugly, ugly word. I wish I could have danced around it and said I had eating issues, but this isn't an article for me to shine."

Despite suffering from bulimia prior to joining The Hills, Pratt said she never discussed it with her fellow castmates.

"I look up to all of them, and I'm definitely not going to be like, 'Oh, Lauren, you're so great, but I'm a disaster,'" she told MTV News. "And so I kept it a secret, and that's when it's bad. The more I can stress about being honest, [the better]. Again, you are as healthy as your secrets."