Yes, we would all like to eat a healthy diet. But what happens when the quest for proper nutrition turns into an obsession? Mental health experts call it “orthorexia nervosa” which literally means “proper appetite…carried to the extreme.” For those with orthorexia, eating becomes a ritual, and any food believed to be unhealthy or impure is rigidly avoided. The problem is that in this desire to achieve a perfect diet, many end up with nutritional deficiencies, medical complications and not much fun in their lives.
Here are some questions to see if you have a tendency toward this condition:
• Do you care more about the virtue of what you eat than the pleasure you receive from eating it?
• Do you spend more than three hours a day thinking about healthy foods?
• Do you look down on other people who do not eat like you?
• Has the quality of your life decreased as the quality of your diet increased?
• Do you feel intensely guilty if you stray from your diet?