Although not yet a formally recognised diagnosis, the notion of ‘Orthorexia’ is certainly a very real and concerning one. Literally meaning “fixation on righteous eating”, those with orthorexia are described as being obsessed with healthy eating.
With all the hype about gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, organic, grain-free, vegetarianism, etc it’s no wonder that many are left feeling guilty no matter what they eat. In addition to the deleterious effects on mental health, orthorexia can negatively impact on individuals’ physical health through its tendency to lead to disordered eating and malnutrition.
Before you too get caught up in believing that vegetables are virtuous and the consumption of any of the other food groups is sinful, remember this: all food is morally neutral. The type of person you are is not determined by the types of food you eat. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve your health and make more nutritious choices, there is also nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional piece cake. In fact, doing so can be good for your emotional health and (if shared with friends) your social life.