We bet you don’t know what orthorexia nervosa is. Dr. Steven Bratman coined the term in 1996. Like its sister eating disorders anorexia, bulimia and binge eating, orthorexia nervosa is sneaky—disguising itself as something we’re doing to make ourselves better when, in fact, we’re on a path to self-destruction. Karin Kratina Ph.D. says, “Those who have an ‘unhealthy obsession’ with otherwise healthy eating may be suffering from ‘orthorexia nervosa,’ a term which literally means ‘fixation on righteous eating.’ Orthorexia starts out as an innocent attempt to eat more healthfully, but orthorexics become fixated on food quality and purity.”
For you, the healthy eater who may be getting a bit out of control, we’ve put together 15 signs that you might be more than just a health food junkie. This list of orthorexia symptoms is not meant to provide you with a diagnosis but merely an increased awareness of some habits that might not be as healthy as you thought. If you identify yourself as having disordered eating, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association for support.
1. Clean Food
You obsessively wash the foods you intend to eat, avoid touching them, and cook thoroughly to eradicate bacteria.