A couple days ago I came across an article published on Today called Blogger Jordan Younger reveals how extreme ‘clean eating’ almost killed her.
Before I share my thoughts on the article, please take a moment to read it … it’s a short read, I promise.
If you don’t want to read it, here’s a quick quote that sums it up:
[Jordan Younger] writes about suffering from a controversial disorder called “orthorexia.” What began as an attempt to get healthy, morphed into an unhealthy regimen of food restrictions, 800-calorie-a-day juice cleanses and exercise. After a year, Younger had wasted away to 101 pounds, her hair was falling out and she had stopped menstruation.
Younger has written a memoir called “Breaking Vegan” that chronicles her self-destructive fixation with “clean eating,” an obsessive focus on healthy, unprocessed foods.
K, now that you’ve witnessed this steaming pile of sensationalist, clickbait journalist, allow me to vent a few specific issues I have with this article:
Issue #1: The headline itself is incredibly misleading.
The woman in the article suffered issues because she adopted a vegan diet and didn’t get enough calories … not because she was a “clean eater.” While I fully advocate a plant-focused diet for many reasons and believe people can get more than enough calories eating this way, “clean eating” doesn’t necessarily mean vegan.
Issue #2: Her problems stemmed from an eating and/or compulsive disorder, NOT from eating clean eating.
From the article:
Orthorexia is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, and experts disagree on whether it’s an eating disorder or disordered eating with obsessive-compulsive features.
Ms. Younger even states that she “found the term online” and diagnosed herself. She states:
I developed obsessions and anxiety around food. It wasn’t about veganism. I had restrictions on top of veganism.
So here’s the takeaway from this, you guys: don’t believe everything you read. If you have an “obsessive focus on healthy, unprocessed foods” like I do, then you should be damn proud of yourself.