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When a ‘healthy lifestyle’ becomes a problem

“Orthorexia nervosa” is a term used to describe health-based extreme diets that threaten, ironically, one’s health. People with this condition often exhibit signs of eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder. And the prevalence of the condition has increased with the current zeitgeist of clean eating, gluten-free, veganism, and organic options. America’s growing obsession with health has also extended to exercise, with more people engaging in compulsive, inflexible fitness regimens. These two trends have joined forces to create a phenomenon that has psychologists wondering: Is this health-crazed lifestyle just another eating disorder is disguise?

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