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An Obsession With Healthy Eating Can Be Very Unhealthy

November 10, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Add another eating disorder to the list: orthorexia nervosa, a condition in which people obsessed with eating healthful, “clean” food end up hurting themselves. More and more doctors and dietitians are treating people determined to cleanse their diet of meat products, gluten, dairy, sugar, etc., become obsessive compulsive, lose way too much weight and even become malnourished. Very little research has been done on the phenomenon, but researchers in Colorado recently devised a list of criteria for doctors to use to diagnose orthorexia. The criteria could also be used to expand research on the condition, which is not yet listed in the official manual of mental disorders.
Sumathi Reddy, "When Healthy Eating Calls For Treatment", The Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2014, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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