What you need to know about orthorexia -- the newest millennial health fixation

When Healthy Eating Becomes Dangerous
When Healthy Eating Becomes Dangerous

Orthorexia nervosa is the newest health fixation spreading among the millennial generation. While eating healthy and staying active is great, sometimes it can be taken too far. When eating healthy becomes an obsession, the fixation becomes a big problem. Orthorexia is extreme healthy eating to an unhealthy extent. Here's what you need to know about it.


Orthorexia isn't officially recognized as an eating disorder, but it's similar to other eating disorders. People with orthorexia categorize foods as good or bad. They become obsessed with cutting all bad foods out of their diets entirely.


While there's no way to determine the exact cause of orthorexia, it often affects people with anxiety or OCD as well as people who lack confidence or have experienced a traumatic event. People with orthorexia typically start by dieting in a more conventional manner and then take the diet to the extreme.


While some may commend people for cutting all unhealthy foods out of their diets, such an obsessive mentality can develop into a sickness. It often causes negative psychological effects such as depression or social isolation. In addition, food seems to be more important than anything else to people with orthorexia. They find themselves obsessing over what they eat so much that they disregard other former priorities such as work and relationships. In addition, physical symptoms include malnourishment, bleeding gums, and anemia.

If you think you may be suffering form orthorexia, it's important to seek help and talk to a professional. Extremes are almost always discouraged so while it's great to eat healthy, people need to maintain a notion of balance. It's important to prevent your fixation on food from becoming your entire life.

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