When healthy eating becomes harmful living - Metro US

When healthy eating becomes harmful living

Healthy eating: Some people take it too far.

When people eliminate large numbers of foods in the name of health and then become obsessive-compulsive about food, this could signal they have a type of eating disorder.

Although “healthy eating disorder,” or orthorexia nervosa as it is called, is not formally recognized as a mental illness, it does exist and is increasingly being noticed, says Colorado physician Steven Bratman, author of Health Food Junkies.

Orthorexia nervosa begins with a desire to avoid foods that are unhealthy, such as junk food. More and more foods end up on the “bad” list over time. Avoidance becomes fear and then sufferers develop an obsession with finding foods that won’t make them sick. They lose weight, and sometimes it is hard to find enough to eat in order to carry on normal activities.

If you have a friend who fits this scenario, you should suggest they see a physician.

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