Why eat­ing healthily can be bad for you

Friday - - Ed’s Letter -

I’m what you might call a fussy eater. I’m a veg­e­tar­ian who doesn’t like veg­eta­bles. I eat cau­li­flower – as long as it’s smoth­ered in cheese – but won’t touch car­rots, beans or most things that are green.

I’m not overly fond of rice, noo­dles or sal­ads. I don’t like any­thing spicy, mushy or cov­ered in sauce. In fact, I’m a piz­zar­ian. Give me a thin crust, wood-fired margherita pizza and I’m the hap­pi­est woman around. I could eat it ev­ery day – but I don’t – and I force my­self to eat those dreaded sal­ads to keep my­self vaguely healthy.

I’ve al­ways been em­bar­rassed about my fussy diet – un­til I read our re­port on page 18 about the lat­est eat­ing dis­or­der, or­thorexia ner­vosa. This is when eat­ing healthily spi­rals out of con­trol and be­comes a full-blown ob­ses­sion that is dis­tinctly un­healthy.

Suf­fer­ers start off with good in­ten­tions, per­haps de­cid­ing to go gluten-free and es­chew­ing any­thing that’s not or­ganic. But pretty soon they’ve banned nearly ev­ery food group from their diet, un­til they’re eat­ing only raw broc­coli five times a day. It’s a dis­or­der that is on the rise glob­ally and it can cause un­told men­tal an­guish – imag­ine spend­ing three hours a day just think­ing about the food you can’t eat and more time plan­ning your mac­ro­bi­otic or sproutar­ian meals – and can even prove fatal. Un­til next week,

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