Orthorexia

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Orthorexia

Orthorexia is the medical term given to the obsession with easting only healthy food. However, such a state of affairs can be anything but healthy as sufferers ignore sensible dietary advice and instead take extreme measures in order to "eat healthily."

The National Centre for Eating Disorders (NCFED) receives more than 6,000 calls and emails a year from people suffering from orthorexia.

Orthorexia is similar to anorexia in terms of how sufferers behave, especially with regards to the extreme obsession with body image and control issues.

For example, one sufferer ate only salad and raw vegetables in huge quantities and despite suffering orthopaedic problems and bone degeneration, as a result, insisted that his selected diet was the only diet suitable for him. Orthorexic subjects typically have specific feelings towards different types of food and their food choices are based on emotional choices and not on traditional or cultural choices.

Although Orthorexia is not officially recognised as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, and it is not listed in the diagnostic statistical manual it is still used as a diagnosis by some practitioners who have observed the negative results of the condition that they have seen in their practices.


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