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Health Food Junkies

Health Food Junkies

Dr. Steven Bratman explains the eating disorder Orthorexia Nervosa.

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Health Food Junkies by Dr. Steven Bratman is the first book to look at Orthorexia Nervosa, a clinical disorder in which healthy eating becomes a dangerous obsession. Offering expert insight gleaned from his work with orthorexia patients, Dr. Bratman outlines the symptoms of orthorexia, describes its progression, and shows readers how to diagnose the condition. It also offers practical advice and tips for overcoming this condition.

As we become an increasingly more health-conscious society, certain individuals have taken their quest to eat pure to an extreme degree. Different than anorexia nervosa, in which the individual starves him or herself out of fear of becoming fat; an individual with orthorexia nervosa knows that they are thin and would like to gain weight, but their need to eat only pure foods overcomes their lives resulting in a severe loss in weight and dysfunctional family, social and professional relationships.

Health Food Junkies provides an expert analysis of some of today’s most popular diets– from The Zone to macrobiotics, raw-foodism to food allergy elimination– and shows not only how they can lead to orthorexia, but how they are often built on faulty logic rather than sound medical advice.

Orthorexia often begins to heal oneself after an illness or to just improve overall health. Gradually, the individual is on a quest that takes on almost a pseudospiritual appearance to eat only pure foods. The discipline they must master in order to eat according to their own elite standards is no less than hardcore. Much of the Orthorexic sufferer’s day is spent planning, shopping and preparing his or her own food. Their obsession with what they can eat starts to become socially-isolating. Yet even though an orthorexic may be isolate from those around him or her, they can adopt a self-righteous stance towards others who do not eat the way that they do.

In order to overcome this condition, Bratman offers a guide to the sufferer to ease their condition. The healing guide includes: Admitting that there is a problem, identifying the origin of the problem, gradually eating normal dishes while increasing the quantity, trying not to let yourself feel too much guilt for “slipping” up. Eating with others and eating what is served to you.

Health Food Junkies is a comprehensive and thoughtful look into this debilitating condition.

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  • Health Food Junkies is one of the first books to describe the progression and dangers of Orthorexia
  • Dr. Steven Bratman is an expert on this condition and a pioneer in better understanding it
  • The book also includes information on how to overcome orthorexia
  • Provides valuable insight
  • Individual with Orthorexia may also need clinical treatment and additional psychological counseling
  • Does not provide guidance for exercise

The crux of Health Food Junkies is what happens to an individual when their need to eat right goes too far. Although no one diet is implicated in acquiring Orthorexia Nervosa, certain diets appear to have a higher association with it such as The Raw Food Diet and certain allergy-eliminating diets.

Different than anorexics and bulimics who focus on the quantity of food, orthorexics are obsessed with the quality of their food. For each orthorexic, what they can and can’t each is different, but by and large, whole, organic, vegetarian and uncooked fare are some of the most commonly-prepared and consumed foods for othorexic sufferers.

Often their entire day revolves around food: from buying it to preparing it, food and thoughts of food occupy the sufferer’s thoughts every minute of the day.


There is little or no reference on exercise in Health Food Junkies.


Health Food Junkies is the first book to identify and describe the condition Orthorexia Nervosa. Written by Dr. Steven Bratman, who was once an orthorexic sufferer, this publication is a thorough and helpful description for anyone affected by this compulsive disorder. It also offers a guide on how to identify it in yourself or others and practical advice on how to reverse this condition.

Common Misspellings

Heatlh Food Junkies, Health Food Junky, Heath Food Junky, Heath Food Junkie

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(Page 1 of 1, 1 total comments)



so glad you talked about this. saw something about it on 20/20 and found it to be quite concerning. glad to know someone is making an effort to help these people.

posted Oct 4th, 2008 4:57 pm


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