Denise Richards defends her thin frame. Credit: Michael Simon/

Denise Richards isn't wasting away, despite rumors to the contrary. In recent weeks, the Twisted actress has been criticized for supposedly looking "painfully thin" and "extra skinny" by several media outlets, including The Sun, Radar Online, The Daily Mail and E! News. The 42-year-old mother of three defended her athletic build during the Radio Disney Music Awards in L.A. Apr. 27.

"I don't know why lately I've been getting so much flack for it," Richards told Extra. "I have a very healthy lifestyle and I'm busy."

The Pilates devotee added, "What bothers me is I have three daughters [Sam, 9, Lola, 7, and Eloise, 22 months]. I'm such an advocate for health and fitness. . . In moderation, we eat ice cream all the time. I had grilled cheese before we got here!"

In fact, at Carbon Audio's launch party for Zooka in West Hollywood on Aug. 3, 2012, Richards told Us Weekly her girls are healthy eaters by choice. "They actually like to cut up fresh vegetables with ranch dressing on the side. That's their favorite!" she shared. "They love helping. They like making salads because they like chopping things up and rinsing the lettuce. Nothing too fancy!"