Experts Claim Passion for Eating Healthy Has Become a Mental Disorder
Anna Hunt, Staff Writer
When you finally realize that mainstream food companies are basically selling us food full of chemicals and devout of nutrients, you may, like many others, start to become a little fanatic about reading ingredients lists, seeking out GMO-free products, supplementing with superfoods, and actually paying attention to what goes into your body.
Well, guess what? Now, you suddenly may have a mental disorder, at least according to scientists at the University of Northern Colorado who conducted a case study about the obsession of eating healthy. This new eating disorder is called orthorexia nervosa (ON) and is said to be driven by a fear of being unhealthy and disgust for low-quality food.
“Orthorexia nervosa (ON) is a term introduced to describe a condition characterized by a pathologic obsession for bio-logically pure and healthy nutrition.” ~Ryan M. Moroze, MD. et al 
The psychologists conducting the study argue that healthy eating can become dangerous if one becomes fixated on the types of ingredients in food, how the food is cooked, and what materials are used to prepare it. Those “suffering” from orthorexia may take extra time to prepare their food and carefully consider what they are willing to eat.
In this day and age, 90% of grocery store shelves, at least in the United States, are filled with processed foods, most of which are scientifically engineered to create physical and psychological dependency. Mega-portion processed meals have lead to spiking rates of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity. Shouldn’t conscientious effort to prepare and eat healthy foods be called sensible and smart instead of potentially dangerous?
Let’s agree that obsessive behavior is never really healthy, regardless of the situation. So what’s really the danger? Thomas Dunn, associate professor of psychology at the University of Northern Colorado and co-author of a recent paper believes the following:
“Such draconian diets can lack essential nutrients, and they make the vitamins and minerals a person does get from meals of exclusively, say, leafy greens, impossible for the body to absorb. This can lead to fragile bones, hormonal shifts, and cardiac problems, along with psychological distress and entrenched, delusional thinking.” 
We have been so meticulously programmed by food marketers that mainstream processed foods are “natural” “healthy” and “nutritious”, yet the statistics speak for themselves: the typical mainstream diet is making us unhealthy. Regardless of the substantial rise in obesity and numerous diseases, even people that follow the mantra of “healthy diet and exercise” are finding it increasingly difficult to be healthy because food bought in stores is just not what is used to be.
In the face of declining public health, doctors pump us full of pills that don’t really address the issue. Food corporations only care about profits, and their marketers lie to help them get those profits. Who else is left to help us find a path toward optimum health but ourselves?
How can you judge if you or someone you love is suffering from orthorexia? Similarly to most other mental illness assessment, a quick review of a checklist of potential traits will do. According to Dunn, if you identify with two or more of the following traits, you might need to see a counselor:
1. You consume a nutritionally unbalanced diet because of concerns about “food purity.”
2. You’re preoccupied about how eating impure or unhealthy foods will affect your physical or emotional health.
3. You rigidly avoid any food you deem to be “unhealthy,” such as those containing fat, preservatives, additives or animal products.
4. You spend three or more hours per day reading about, acquiring or preparing certain kinds of food you believe to be “pure.”
5. You feel guilty if you eat foods you believe to be “impure.”
6. You’re intolerant of other’s food beliefs.
7. You spend an excessive proportion of your income on “pure” foods. 
Considering this list, I’m a certified health nut!
If psychologists are so eager to create new mental illness, why not create a fancy label for the people participating in hot-dog eating contests, contributing to the daily consumption of 1.9 billion servings of Coca-cola products, or opting for the quad-stacked Big Mac and supersize fries.
“Orthorexia has not yet found its way into the latest edition of the psychiatric bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), yet is commonly being lumped in with other eating disorders. Stepping back and looking at the ones pushing this label on us shows highly questionable motives. Psychiatry as a whole is deeply in bed with a pharmaceutical industry that makes the drugs to “treat” every one of these “disorders.” It is often these companies that are wielding influence behind the scenes to invent more mental health categories with their toxic products as the answer.” ~ Jefferey Jaxen 
About the Author
Anna Hunt is writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She’s the founder of Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation. She’s also the co-editor at Waking Times, where she writes about optimal health and wellness. Anna spent 6 years in Costa Rica as a teacher of Hatha and therapeutic yoga. She now teaches at Asheville Yoga Center and is pursuing her Yoga Therapy certification. During her free time, you’ll find her on the mat or in the kitchen, creating new kid-friendly superfood recipes.
This article (Experts Claim Passion for Eating Healthy Has Become a Mental Disorder) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Anna Hunt and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.
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