Orthorexia Nervosa: Restrictive, Obsessive Healthy Eating

December 16, 2016 Becky Oberg

Obsessively healthy eating has a name, it's orthorexia nervosa. While not clinically recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), orthorexia nervosa--literally fixation on righteous eating--is no less real to those who suffer from it. Recently I interviewed a doctor about this condition and asked her the question many people with it ask--"When did eating right become bad?" The answer--"When it becomes excessive . . . When it interferes with activities of daily living" (Eating Disorder Facts: Who Gets Eating Disorders?). For example, skipping meals because the "right" food isn't available is not uncommon. Obsessively healthy eating -- orthorexia nervosa -- can be very unhealthy.

Obsession with Healthy Eating and Orthorexia Nervosa

Orthorexia nervosa isn't just eating healthfully. Orthorexia nervosa is the problem of eating healthy, but obsessively and with restriction. Read this for more.In this video, I talk about this new eating disorder, orthorexia nervosa. As the doctor said, "Healthy eating is good, but when it becomes an obsession, when it becomes restrictive, there's a problem . . . There are ways to do healthy eating that aren't harmful."

Eating disorders are about control--as a psychologist once told me "You may think you're in control with your eating disorder symptoms, but you've never been more out of control in your life."

When healthy eating becomes obsessive and harmful, it is time to seek help.

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APA Reference
Oberg, B. (2016, December 16). Orthorexia Nervosa: Restrictive, Obsessive Healthy Eating, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Becky Oberg

MCE Conferences
December, 17 2016 at 9:30 am

Thanks! Was really curious to know other great blogs you read too.MCE Conferences Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs are designed by primary care healthcare professionals who are leaders in their field -

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