However, when healthy eating becomes an obsession, it can have unhealthy consequences. Orthorexia is a subclinical eating disorder that hides behind the apron of health. Take this quiz to see if your goal of a healthy diet is too extreme.
Because orthorexia is not a clinically recognized eating disorder, it does not have diagnostic criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-R), the manual used by mental health professionals to diagnose patients.
Dr. Steven Bratman, author of Health Food Junkies: Orthorexia Nervosa: — Overcoming the Obsession with Healthy Eating, coined the term "orthorexia" and developed the following orthorexia self-test.
Answer the following questions to see if your healthy diet has consuming too much of your life.
Give yourself one point for each "yes" answer.
*This does not mean planning a week's menus so that you can shop for food once a week. Many people who work full time must do this to make time for other activities.
** This means compulsively, whether there is a good reason or not. Obviously someone who is trying to lose 20 pounds of body fat will need to use some self-control.
Any obsession, whether it be with food or otherwise, can be mentally and emotionally crippling. When dieting is taken to an extreme, it can start as orthorexia but eventually develop into more debilitating eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Strive to eat healthy but don't let it consume and limit your enjoyment in life.
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