The first book to identify the eating disorder orthorexia nervosa–an obsession with eating healthfully–and offer expert advice on how to treat it.
As Americans become better informed about health, more and more people have turned to diet as a way to lose weight and keep themselves in peak condition. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa–disorders in which the sufferer focuses on the quantity of food eaten–have been highly documented over the past decade. But as Dr. Steven Bratman asserts in this breakthrough book, for many people, eating “correctly” has become an equally harmful obsession, one that causes them to adopt progressively more rigid diets that not only eliminate crucial nutrients and food groups, but ultimately cost them their overall health, personal relationships, and emotional well-being.
Health Food Junkies is the first book to identify this new eating disorder, orthorexia nervosa, and to offer detailed, practical advice on how to cope with and overcome it. Orthorexia nervosa occurs when the victim becomes obsessed, not with the quantity of food eaten, but the quality of the food. What starts as a devotion to healthy eating can evolve into a pattern of incredibly strict diets; victims become so focused on eating a “pure” diet (usually raw vegetables and grains) that the planning and preparation of food come to play the dominant role in their lives.
Health Food Junkies provides an expert analysis of some of today’s most popular diets–from The Zone to macrobiotics, raw-foodism to food allergy elimination–and shows not only how they can lead to orthorexia, but how they are often built on faulty logic rather than sound medical advice. Offering expert insight gleaned from his work with orthorexia patients, Dr. Bratman outlines the symptoms of orthorexia, describes its progression, and shows readers how to diagnose the condition. Finally, Dr. Bratman offers practical suggestions for intervention and treatment, giving readers the tools they need to conquer this painful disorder, rediscover the joys of eating, and reclaim their lives.
About the Author
Dr. Steven Bratman suffered from orthorexia nervosa himself, and, in the process of overcoming it, became the first physician to diagnose the problem. He is currently the medical director for Prima Health, a book publisher, and is the author of The Alternative Medicine Sourcebook. He lives in Colorado.