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Orthorexia: Healthy Eating at a Cost

You know the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away?” That saying still holds true, but if you’re someone who eats 12 organically produced apples every day, that might be a reason to give the doc a call.

Recently, a new eating disorder known as Orthorexia has been on the rise. Orthorexia is the obsession with healthy or clean eating habits. This may not sound like such a bad thing, but in the push for today’s society to eat better and live healthier lifestyles, some people have taken it a little too far.

It’s almost impossible to scroll through Facebook or Pinterest and not see constant promotions for health trends such as gluten-free diets, juice cleanses, or detox recipes. These types of clean eating trends are bad per say, but the problem is that the intense marketing of these trends has lead some people, particularly young women, to believe that they are the only way to lead a healthy lifestyle.

The belief that restrictive food diets are the best and only way to lead a healthy lifestyle can lead people to have a very dysfunctional relationship with food. Part of leading a healthy lifestyle is having a healthy relationship with food, and obsessing over which foods you can eat and fearing the ones you can’t is the exact opposite of that. As a society in general, we seem to have forgotten the most basic, most important rule when it comes to healthy eating: everything in moderation. Too much of anything isn’t good for you, and that includes natural, whole foods as well.

As a college-age woman myself, I know how easy it can be to see food as the enemy. But the second you go to war with food, you’ll lose. The rise in Orthorexia is yet another reminder of how many of us have warped views of what a healthy lifestyle looks like. By raising awareness that a healthy lifestyle starts with a healthy relationship with food, we can help stop the spread of Orthorexia.

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