Skip Nav

Health Food Obsession Gone Too Far: Orthorexia

If you're reading this site, chances are you're into eating healthy. While it's beneficial to be conscious about what you put in your mouth, it's not good to become so obsessed that your lifestyle goes from a healthy diet to an unhealthy fixation on a healthy diet. The condition is referred to as an eating disorder by some, known as orthorexia nervosa. Symptoms include sticking to a strict diet such as a raw food diet, making a list of foods that are off-limits, or nervously avoiding foods deemed unhealthy, such as those with artificial flavors, preservatives, or that aren't organic.

Being obsessed about eating healthy seems like a positive thing, but problems arise when a person's healthy lifestyle becomes so overwhelming that it pushes other activities and interests to the periphery, and interferes with relationships and day-to-day responsibilities. As the quality of their diet increases, the quality of their life decreases. It can ironically lead to unhealthy consequences like malnutrition or starvation (anorexia orthorexia).

This is not to say that those who have diet restrictions such as vegans or those following a macrobiotic diet have orthorexia. It has to do with the rigidness of the lifestyle, and whether or not it's actually detrimental to a person's health. While some mental health professionals classify orthorexia as an obsessive compulsive disorder, others think orthorexia isn't a real disorder at all. What do you think?

Image Source: Getty
Latest Fitness
Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? Order our POPSUGAR Must Have box now >>