Experts are ringing warning bells for those dangerously obsessed with eating healthy, adding they may have a disorder called orthorexia.
Cynthia Bulik, director of the eating disorders program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, referred to the phobics run from “impure” foods, limit their intake and lose dangerous amounts of weight, according to ABC News.
“We do know what we’re seeing in the clinic. We are seeing more people really worrying about what’s in their food,” The New York Daily News quoted Bulik as saying.
Researchers experts believe that the eating disorder may be a part of anorexia nervosa, in which sufferers severely limit their food intake and body weight, according to E: The Environmental Magazine.
Kathleen MacDonald of the Eating Disorders Coalition told Jezebel.com, the treatment for orthorexia so far was “hit-or-miss”.
The paper went on to cite the case of a young woman who almost landed in her grave after becoming a vegetarian and then a vegan, she began eating only raw foods.
Richmond, Virginia resident Kristie Rutzel told Good Morning America: “I stayed away from restaurants. It took me maybe two or three hours . . . to figure out what my next meal was going to be.” She told ABC about her near brush with death as she lost 60 of her 120 pounds because of her restricted diet.
Rutzel has now overcome her fears of certain foods.
She said: “It was just step by step. Just challenging myself, saying, ‘I used to eat this; I used to love it. Why not do it again?’”