Did you know that eating too much healthy foods can be a sign of an eating disorder?
Coined by Colorado physician Steve Bratman in 1997, the term orthorexia nervosa is a relatively new term for an eating disorder characterized by excessive preoccupation on eating healthy foods.
Of course, healthy eating is not bad in itself. We all know the benefits that a healthy diet can give us. However, those people with orthorexia nervosa tend to overdo the healthy diet part of a healthy lifestyle. They may become so obsessed with eating a healthy diet that they develop malnutrition or even die in the long run.
Orthorexia nervosa can somehow be likened to obsessive-compulsive disorder, in that they become too engrossed with watching their diet that they detest eating foods that they consider unhealthy, such as those rich in fat and preservatives. These people may be eating a healthy diet, but they are not consuming a balanced one.
As of this time, the American Psychiatric Association has not yet classified orthorexia nervosa as an eating disorder in the DSM-IV criteria.