Orthorexia is an eating disorder
similar to anorexia
, though instead of an obsessive desire to lose weight, those who suffer from orthorexia have an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. The word comes from Greek orthos, “correct or right”, plus orexis, “appetite”. In their search for dietary purity, orthorexics may become so restrictive about what they eat (for example, avoiding fatty foods, those containing preservatives, those with salt or sugar) that eventually they become as dangerously thin as an anorexic.
A woman who grew up with orthorexic parents said in an article that her parents removed as much sugar as possible from their family's diet and progressed into herbal remedies, then a vegan diet, and every extreme trend that came along in the '80s. Healthy eating had gone out of control. "I can remember always being hungry because there was no fat in the house. ... My middle sister ended up with anorexia. Another sister goes to Overeater's Anonymous."