Orthorexia: It’s real
“Many of the most unbalanced people I have ever met are those have devoted themselves to healthy eating. In fact, I believe many of them have contracted a novel eating disorder, for which I have coined the name “orthorexia nervosa.” The term uses “ortho,” in its meaning as straight, correct and true, to modify “anorexia nervosa.” Orthorexia nervosa refers to a fixation on eating proper food.” Dr Steven Bratman, MD, MPH
Orthorexia eventually reaches a point where the sufferer spends most of his time planning, purchasing and eating meals. The orthorexic’s inner life becomes dominated by efforts to resist temptation, self-condemnation for lapses, self-praise for success at complying with the self-chosen regime, and feelings of superiority over others less pure in their dietary habits.
“It often surprises me how blissfully unaware proponents of nutritional medicine remain of the propensity for their technique to create an obsession. Indeed, popular books on natural medicine seem to actively promote orthorexia in their enthusiasm for sweeping dietary changes. No doubt, this is a compensation for the diet-averse stance of modern medicine. However, when healthy eating becomes a disease in its own right, it is arguably worse than the health problems which began the cycle of fixation.”
Bratman, Steven. Health Food Junkie. Yoga Journal 1997; September/October:42-50.