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Orthorexia Nervosa: New Eating Disorder Hitting the Rich, Educated Middle-Class

by Tanya Thomas on August 20, 2009 at 8:32 AM
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 Orthorexia Nervosa: New Eating Disorder Hitting the Rich, Educated Middle-Class

Had your fill of news spewing information on eating disorders? Well, you haven't heard the last of it then! Here's a new one coming your way - orthorexia nervosa. Surprisingly, though researchers report a 'significant' rise in this disorder, which can get as deadly as its predecessors.

"Orthorexia nervosa", in simpler terms, is the Brits' new-found obsession for healthy food.

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According to the experts, sufferers with the obsession for healthy eating tend to be aged over 30, and are middle-class and well-educated.

The condition, which affects equal numbers of men and women, is described as a "fixation on righteous eating".

"I am definitely seeing significantly more orthorexics than just a few years ago," the Telegraph quoted Ursula Philpot, chair of the British Dietetic Association's mental health group, as saying.
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"There is a fine line between people who think they are taking care of themselves by manipulating their diet and those who have orthorexia," said Deanne Jade, founder of the National Centre for Eating Disorders.

"I see people around me who have no idea they have this disorder. I see it in my practice and I see it among my friends and colleagues," she added.

The condition, named by a Californian doctor, Steven Bratman, in 1997, involves rigid eating that includes not touching sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, gluten, yeast, soya, corn, and dairy foods.

It can leave some sufferers malnourished, lead to pressures in their personal relationships, and make them become socially isolated.

Until recently, doctors only included them under the "catch-all label of Ednos" - eating disorders not otherwise recognised.

While exact numbers of people suffering the disorder are not available, experts say it now represents a significant proportion of the Ednos group.

Source: ANI
TAN
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