Health Food Junkies

There are various eating disorders that health experts recognize. You may have already heard about anorexia nervosa or bulimia and all of them have a common goal: to lose weight, no matter how unhealthy. However, an author reveals that even healthy eating can be brought to the most extreme.

The gist

In his book "Health Food Junkies," Dr. Steven Bratman introduces his readers to an eating disorder called Orthorexia Nervosa, in which eating healthily becomes a dangerous obsession.

It does seem unusual, but Dr. Bratman has observed that certain dieters would get obsessed (and we mean obsessive-compulsive type of obsessed) about eating healthy foods. Symptoms include avoiding certain foods considered by the patient as unhealthy such as those containing fats, preservatives, or animal products. Such extreme dietary restrictions, Bratman asserted, could cause the body to emaciate (or having the body of an anorexic).

It is noted, however, that orthorexia nervosa is not an official medical diagnosis, although the term has been included in certain English dictionaries. Meanwhile, some physicians like Dr. Bratman have used the term as diagnosis to patients who exhibited similar symptoms.

The book also discusses how orthorexia progresses as well as how readers would be able to self-diagnose the condition. Dr. Bratman also offers practical advice for orthorexics on how to overcome this condition.


Dr. Bratman, who admitted was a former orthorexic, is one of the first authors to acknowledge the potential dangers of eating healthy and pure foods to the point of obsession. His book, "Health Food Junkies," aims to provide readers some degree of awareness about this debilitating condition called orthorexia.


The author does not explicitly state which diet can cause orthorexia. However, Dr. Bratman implicated that certain diets appear to have a higher association with the condition, such as the Raw Food Diet and certain allergy-eliminating eating programs.


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