21 March 2011
The National Centre for Eating Disorders (NCED) has raised concerns over the increasing number of people adopting extreme 'healthy lifestyles'.
According to the organisation, orthorexia - an obsession with eating only healthy foods - is a relatively unknown condition, but can lead to other eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia.
One of the major worries, the NCED claims, is that food fanatics take their dieting too far and combine it with dangerous levels of exercise.
Deanne Jade, a psychologist and eating disorder specialist for the NCED, told the BBC as many as one in ten women and one in 20 men suffer from orthorexia.
"Within this disorder, there are a lot of rules about food, such as eliminating carbs, meat or fat," she said.
Adding: "You know it's serious when it affects your social life."
Her comments follow research published in the Lancet which cast doubts on the impact obesity can have on a person's heart health.
Posted by Edward Bartel
1 Danesh, John et al. "Separate and combined associations of body-mass index and abdominal adiposity with cardiovascular disease: collaborative analysis of 58 prospective studies". The Lancet. Thursday, March 11th 2011.
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