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Are You Orthorexic? Watching What You Eat Now Considered A Mental Disease!

Do you consider yourself obsessed with eating healthy? If so, you might have an eating disorder. Sorry to break it to you so coldly, but your “fixation with righteous eating” would earn you the label of orthorexic by the mental health profession. That’s right, folks, if you try to avoid fatty foods, foods contaminated with pesticides and herbicides, or especially if you avoid certain food groups like dairy, you’re sick!

You should get help, now. As soon as word gets out to the mainstream, there will be waves of healthy people lining up outside psychiatrists’ offices drinking organic green tea and munching on natural organic foods waiting to be cured. Surely you must know, deep down, that you’re hurting yourself by paying such close attention to the foods you consume. Can’t you see the damage you’re doing?

Well apparently the damage potential is real, including possible malnourishment and discontent between spouses and family members. If taken to extreme (I mean seriously extreme), I can see how someone who is more focused on food than their family might cause some tension. If fact, I’ve seen that happen. But going so far as to label the person mentally ill seems beyond extreme.

Orthorexia nervosa, the official name of the condition, was actually coined back in 1997 by Steven Bratman, a California doctor. But orthorexics were still rare enough then that doctors lumped them under the general term Ednos (eating disorders not otherwise specified). Apparently, orthorexics are growing in numbers so rapidly that they now need to be treated separately.

Could the increase in people overly concerned with their diet have anything to do with the increase in education on how America’s food is produced? Or how many chemicals are in our food? Or the connections between certain food groups and serious diseases? Or perhaps the growing list of organic foods benefits? Could any of these awakenings have anything to do with this sudden surge in orthorexic diagnoses?

I might be on to something: "Those most susceptible” according to Ursula Philpot, chair of the British Dietetic Association's mental health group, “are middle-class, well-educated people who read about food scares in the papers, research them on the internet, and have the time and money to source what they believe to be purer alternatives."

So again, to recap, if you have the time to research natural health information, learn which foods are dangerous and which foods are healthy, as well as the means to afford a natural health diet full of organic food, you have a serious problem. Seek help. But don't worry too much... the burgers and fries industry will be waiting to welcome you back with open arms.

What do you think about this? Read more from The Guardian.



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