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A 'cult' of wellness Instagrammers who post streams of healthy food images are fuelling orthorexia, experts have warned.
They claim the rapid spread of information on social media from unqualified 'Insta-stars' is promoting a 'dangerous way of eating'.
Orthorexia - Illness - Person
Orthorexia is an illness characterised by a person becoming obsessed with 'clean eating' - but is not clinically recognised yet.
A person may begin by eating healthier, but restrict what they eat to only 'pure' foods, so much so they become socially isolated and miss vital nutrients.
Research - People - Media - Accounts - Images
Research shows people with orthorexia tend to follow social media accounts that portray images of healthy food and fit, tanned bodies.
The term orthorexia was first coined two decades ago in 1997, but is still not clinically recognised because there are no clear symptoms.
Renee - McGregor - Dietician - Author - Orthorexia
Renee McGregor, a British registered dietician and author of Orthorexia, When Healthy Eating Goes Bad, said it's very difficult to diagnose.
She told The Times: 'It is not always linked to weight or body image.
'It - Compulsion - Inability - Something - Pizza
'It’s more a psychological compulsion and an inability to deviate. They just physically can’t eat something like a pizza or cake.
'More and more, I’m seeing people come forward realising they have a problem. Typically these people follow unqualified Insta-stars, who in actual fact are promoting a very dangerous way of eating. It’s almost like a cult.'
Dr - Cristina - Hanganu-Bresch - Professor - Writing
Dr Cristina Hanganu-Bresch is an associate professor of writing and rhetoric at the University of the Sciences, Philadelphia.
She believes the combination of a 'wellness trend' and the speed and reach of social media has led to the rise of orthorexia.
'People - Condition - Personality - Type - Disorder
She said: 'People who get the condition often have an underlying personality type such as obsessive compulsive disorder that makes them a fertile breeding ground.
'Seeing images on social media of tanned, glowing people looking happy, who claim that they got there through so-called "healthy" eating, then...
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