Is “Orthorexia” real? And if it is, does it matter?

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So you’re obsessed with “clean eating”. Is this a problem? What exactly is clean eating anyway? According to a paper written by Cristina Hanganu-Bresch, an associate professor at the University of the Sciences, at it’s extreme, “adherents shun all sugar, all carbs, all dairy, all meat and animal products, gluten, starch, pesticides, herbicides — anything that isn’t natural, organic or “clean.””

As long as you’re eating and healthy why does it matter if you have this type of obsession? Obsessions are never a desirable thing but I can think of worse problems in the world than wanting to eat only so-called “clean” foods. Personally, I wouldn’t want to adhere to that lifestyle because I like to get my occasional dose of deep dish pizza and a hot dog every now and again.

A flurry of new studies and reviews is breathing new life into so-called orthorexia nervosa, loosely defined as a pathological fixation on eating “pure” foods. At its extreme, adherents shun all sugar, all carbs, all dairy, all meat and animal products, gluten, starch, pesticides, herbicides — anything that isn’t natural, organic or “clean.”
According to one new paper, orthorexia is a “cyberpathy,” a digitally transmitted condition of privilege. Whether it’s a “real” mental disease or an imaginary one, the behaviours and consequences are certainly real, according to the author.

National Post

Here’s a link to the paper:

https://mh.bmj.com/content/early/2019/07/28/medhum-2019-011681.abstract

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