Healthy Eating Turns Into An Illness

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People try to eat healthily nowadays! That’s probably a great tendency but until it becomes an obsession that can be bad for your health, experts warn.

People who try to have wholesome meals steering clear of the entire food groups risk harming their mental and physical wellbeing.

Scientists have fixed a not ordinary healthy-food-obsessed-people behavior called orthorexia nervosa. The middle-class, over 30 and well-educated people fall under the group of sufferers from orthorexia nervosa.


The difference between them and anorexia patients is that the last restrict the quantity of the food they eat, while the orthorexia sufferers, named after the Greek for ‘right or true’, fixate on quality.

It seams that healthy eaters don’t know what does it mean to eat healthily because the ‘rules’ vary from person to person, and the drive to eat only the healthiest foods can lead to salt, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, gluten, wheat, soya, yeast, dairy foods and corn being eliminated from the diet.

Foods tainted by pesticides or that contain artificial additives such as MSG are often also ditched. One orthorexic is reputed to eat only yellow foods.

Ursula Philpot, chairman of the British Dietetic Association’s mental health group, said:

“I am definitely seeing significantly more orthorexics than just a few years ago. Other eating disorders focus on the quantity of food but orthorexics can be overweight or look normal.

They are solely concerned with the quality of the food they are putting in their bodies, refining and restricting their diets according to their personal understanding of which foods are truly “pure”.”

There is no blame if one spends some time to read the latest food research and plan menus. But it shouldn’t be turned into some crazy behavior that brings health disorders.


Deanne Jade, founder of the National Centre for Eating Disorders, told the Observer:

“There is a fine line between people who think they are taking care of themselves by manipulating their diet and those who have orthorexia. I see people around me who have no idea they have this disorder. I see it in my practice and I see it in my friends and colleagues.”

She believes that the rise of this condition is linked to society’s tolerance of food fads and those who promote them, starting from gym instructors to naturopaths.

“It’s everywhere, from people who think it’s normal if their friends stop eating entire food groups, to the trainers in the gym who [promote] certain foods to enhance performance, to the proliferation of nutritionists, dieticians and naturopaths.

And just look in the bookshops – all the diets that advise eating according to your blood type or metabolic rate. This is all grist to the mill to those looking for proof to confirm or encourage their anxieties around food.”

Mary George, the participant of eating disorder charity Beat, said that the propagation of wholesome eating should be alarmed as people turned it into a new illness. It’s not too late until a quirk or fad becomes ‘all-consuming’.

She added:

“In this day and age, there’s so much more attention paid to healthy eating and what we put inside our bodies that it is possibly more likely that this situation may occur.”

The conclusion! Having healthy meals – have health! Don’t damage it!

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