Juicerexia: When Juicing Becomes an Eating Disorder
Is it possible that an obsession with juicing is just an eating disorder in disguise?
Last year, Dr. Oz shed light on what continues to be a growing trend, calling it "juicerexia."
"Addicted to the rapid weight loss, some woman are taking this new diet craze to dangerous extremes," said Dr. Oz. "Women who do these juice cleanses can, and do, die from heart problems."
Juice cleansing exploded on the Internet in the last decade or so - a quick Google search returns thousands of different websites that offer various juicing protocols, recipes, fasting tips, and more.
During a typical juice cleanse, you eat no food, only consuming the juices of fruits or vegetables for several days or even weeks. Purported benefits of a juice cleanse include weight loss, clearer skin, more energy and diminished cravings. These types of programs have become even more popularized by fitness and nutrition professionals who promote juice cleanses as a way to lose weight fast before a wedding, vacation or some other significant event.
Dr. Oz explained that while you're still getting calories on a juice cleanse, the lack of nutrients from other foods can result in heart damage.
"The heart will literally disintegrate, it'll melt away, without nourishment," he said.
Psychologist Brenda Wade, Dr. Oz's guest on the juicerexia episode, said she has seen the trend becoming more popular in recent years. The danger, however, is that many people who try juicing eventually end up with full-blown eating disorders.
“Behind it is something deeper,” Wade said.
According to nutritionist Jennifer Barr, RD, of Wilmington, DE, juicing may trigger disordered eating habits, like bingeing, because of the restrictive nature of the practice.
“If you’re doing a juicing diet, you’ll be so tempted to eat something like a cake or doughnut because you’ve restricted yourself,” Barr said on Web MD.
Photo by Szabo Janos