While a commitment to healthy eating is certainly to be commended, there’s a fine line between clean eating and obsessive eating. And the latter is actually a medical condition called orthorexia nervosa.
According to the National Eating Disorders Association, orthorexia nervosa occurs when a person is so obsessed with healthy eating that they end up hurting their own personal well-being.
Some signs of orthorexia nervosa include:
- Cutting out an entire food group or several food groups from your diet in the name of healthy eating
- Constantly contemplating whether or not food is healthy or “pure” enough in terms of quality
- Being extremely interested or fixated on what others are eating
- Experiencing significant distress if the foods available aren’t “safe” or healthy enough
- Following numerous food and healthy lifestyle blogs and spending a significant amount of time and energy reading it
What’s the difference between orthorexia and anorexia?
A person with orthorexia isn’t obsessed with being thin. Instead, their obsession lies in the foods they eat and whether or not it’s “clean” or healthy enough. It gets to the point that it interferes with their everyday life.
Who does it affect and how is it treated?
Unfortunately, people with other conditions like anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, or history of alcohol and drug abuse problems are more likely to suffer from orthorexia nervosa. Fortunately, psychiatric help can help kickstart the recovery process. Other experts, such as registered dietitians, can also help a person find healthy meal plans that strike a good balance of healthy and happy eating.
xx, The FabFitFun Team