Everyone knows that eating healthy foods and limiting unhealthy ones is best for optimum health, but what if you cross the line and it becomes an obsession? If someone’s desire to eat clean gets to the point that they develop an actual fear of unhealthy foods it can lead to an eating disorder known as orthorexia.
According to the Eating Recovery Center, the national health care system dedicated to the treatment of serious eating disorders, there are more than 30 million people in the Unites States struggling with controlled eating habits including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and orthorexia.
“A focus on health and fitness can be taken to the extreme and can be deadly, so we as a society need to be more sensitive to the way we talk about health and fitness and how we message it,” said Beth Riley with the ERC.
While not all people who zero in on a healthier lifestyle develop an eating disorder, she said, “in susceptible individuals, the focus on health and fitness can transform into an eating disorder.”
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Beth Riley, MSW, LISW-CP, CEDS, Executive Director at ERC, The Carolinas, was recently featured on TheTennessean.com discussing how someone's desire to eat clean leads to a fear of unhealthy foods.