Healthy eating, an unhealthy obsession

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A February 2015 CBS News article discussed the dangers of orthorexia, and one expert with whom we spoke says she worries that loved ones of orthorexics might overlook the issue by justifying it as just healthful eating.

Orthorexia is a harmful obsession with healthful eating. Although orthorexia isn’t recognized as an official eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, it can lead to nutritional deficiencies and poor health, explains Deborah Levy, who is a health and nutrition consultant.

“Ultimately, the obsession and preoccupation with eating clean and healthy becomes more and more intense, and the foods eaten become more and more limited,” Levy says.

According to National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), recovery from orthorexia can require professional help.

NEDA says a practitioner who is skilled at treating eating disorders is the best choice.