Written by Lachmi Deb Roy, PG Diploma in Journalism | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Sep 06, 2014

Orthorexia: The Hidden Causes

The hidden cause of Orthorexia is rather funny. It begins innocently enough, as a desire to overcome chronic illness or to improve general health. However, since it requires great will power to adopt a diet that differs considerably from the food habits of childhood, few accomplish the change gracefully. Most resort to an iron self discipline supported by a sense of superiority over those who eat junk food.

Orthorexia is also caused by a host of extreme diets: Raw foodism, which echoes the mantra ‘the greatest enemy of man is the cooking stove, macrobiotics, which mandates that vegetables be sliced in a certain fashion; the self-explanatory fruitarianism; and breatharianism, or extreme fasting.

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One has visibly moved into an orthorexic approach to life if most of one’s time consists of obsessing about the next meal, eating it or resisting temptation, condemning oneself for lapses, praising oneself for success at complying and experiencing feelings of superiority over others less ‘pure’ in their dietary habits.

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