Orthorexia is becoming an acknowledged eating disorder. The “clean eating” movement has inspired people’s obsessions with their health. Clean eating is a dietary trend that has plenty of purpose and benefit. Eliminating processed foods is good for the body and the brain. Reducing sugar, eating healthy fats, and creating a more natural diet has all the benefits one could ask for. The body still needs a little bit of sugar and fat now and then, and even a couple days off from working out. When an eating disorder starts to develop, there is a disconnect between what the body really needs and what the brain thinks the body needs. For orthorexia and those struggling with other eating disorders, this disconnect is severe.
People with orthorexia have a serious fear about ruining the purity of their bodies. Clean eating creates a phobia around consuming any kind of food or substance which might taint the cleanliness of their insides. Restriction and a strict regimen of eating are common characteristics in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa rooted in the fear of eating. When someone sticks to a diet or a dietary trend they might call it discipline or diligence. Someone with an eating disorder would call it obsession, to the point of harm. Out of fear of eating something impure or not “clean” someone might lose their interest in socializing, going out to eat, or being around other people. Their fears and obsessions become anxieties which control their lives.
Eventually, their clean eating becomes detrimental. Studies have found that too much clean eating, especially those who eliminate necessary proteins, can have a negative effect on the body overtime. As the diet becomes more obsessive, it can become more restrictive. Depleting the body of its natural nutrients, the clean eating effect is gone.
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