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Health Tip: Not All “Healthy Eating” is Healthy

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Healthy Eating related image Photo: Getty Images

Do you consider yourself a healthy eater? What exactly do you eat? If you eat little more than fresh vegetables, you may be something called an orthorexic.

An orthorexic (latin for “correct eating”) is a person who is compelled to eat only pure, natural and healthful foods. Some go so far, according to a Yahoo! Health article, as to not eat anything that is processed, contains artificial colors or flavors, or anything that has come into contact with pesticides. They also may avoid alcohol, caffeine, sugar, salt, wheat, and dairy foods.

These people aren’t concerned about weight loss or body image, but tend to lose weight simply from not eating a well-rounded diet. The condition is similar to anorexia nervosa in that it can cause similar wasting away and health risks to the person affected.

If you think you or someone close to you may have an eating disorder, contact your doctor for an evaluation.

Do you have a question about eating disorders? Check out EmpowHER’s pages. Sign-up, post a question, share your story, connect with other women in our groups and community, and feel EmpowHERed!

Yahoo! Health: New Eating Disorders: Are They For Real?
EmpowHER: Is Eating Too Healthy An Eating Disorder?

Christine Jeffries is a writer/editor for work and at heart, and lives in a home of testosterone with her husband and two sons. Christine is interested in women’s health and promoting strong women.

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EmpowHER Guest

Thanks for sharing this article, Christine. A co-worker of mine, within the past year, has done as described above. She went from eating cheeses, meats, etc. to the complete opposite and from what I see at lunch time, she eats two peppers (one yellow, on red). This has become a daily routine and within the past year, she appears to have dropped at least 20 lbs.

Let me tell you that she weighed about 120 and stands about 5'4. In other words, she was never overweight in the first place, so dropping down to 100 lbs was very noticeable.

What does a co-worker do in this sense? Talk to her? Explain your concern?


April 27, 2011 - 4:34pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Hi Missie,
Good question. I am not a therapist or doctor, but I would think that as a co-worker you could ask her about her eating patterns in a quizzical nature (not accusatory), and out of curiosity. Maybe you could mention how you had read an article about people who eat like that, noticed how she has dropped weight, and you're concerned. You could suggest she may want to talk with her doctor to make sure she's not endangering her health. What do you think?

April 28, 2011 - 7:10am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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