While nutritionists worry about celebrities diets triggering anorexic behaviors in young women, there is a new danger for women in their 30s and 40s known as orthorexia.
While anorexia is severe restriction of any type of food and bulimia is the need to immediately purge food binges, orthorexia is an eating disorder tied to obsession over the purity of the food that enters the body.
Orthorexics often avoid entire food groups in order to lose weight. Many of these entire food groups are essential to eating a balanced nutritional plan,.
Nutritionists highlight celebrity fads such as the blood group diet, which is advertised by Cheryl Cole, and the Maple Syrup detox diet, used by Beyonce and Naomi Campbell as two diets which might trigger orthorexia in some people. Those on the maple syrup diet consume little else, but sugary water. This has none of the protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals needed to remain healthy.
When the body does not receive a well-balanced nutritional diet, one of the first things to be lost is hair. When the body is under any type of nutritional restriction any tendency towards thinning hair or hair loss can be triggered. It can also cause hair to stop growing, become dry or brittle or suffer from other nutritional deficiencies.
Cutting out entire food groups is likely to lead to serious illness, warn nutritionists. They point out how an onslaught of advice from diet promoting celebrities, particularly in the New Year, frightens women into going down the path to orthorexia.
Orthorexics are obsessed with good and bad food as well as eliminating items they have come to consider bad such as salt, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, gluten, yeast, soy, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, meat or other foods from their diet entirely. Foods that may contain artificial additives such as MSG or pesticide residues are also rejected as bad foods.
While anorexic people are secretive about their food habits, orthorexics can become evangelical and superior about their limited food choices. Orthorexia is considered to be related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) where sufferers become obsessive and compulsive about cutting out what they have come to believe is all bad food, whether it is really bad or not.
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