Send to

Choose Destination
Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2016;160:A9164.

[Malnutrition due to an extremely 'healthy' diet; a new eating disorder?].

[Article in Dutch]

Author information

VU medisch centrum, Amsterdam.


A 71-year-old male was admitted to our hospital with heart failure, cachexia and biochemical disturbances due to a diet consisting of exclusively vegetables, oil and water. Our investigations showed that this diet was a consequence of an excessive preoccupation with health. The patient did not meet criteria for an eating disorder or other DSM-IV psychiatric disorder. We conclude that malnutrition due to health fad diets may be an underestimated medical problem. There is no specific psychopathological disorder that covers this behaviour, and there is no knowledge of its epidemiology. Popular literature is paying a great deal attention to orthorexia nervosa, an alleged eating disorder that describes a pathological obsession with healthy food. In medical literature this concept has been largely neglected, although eating disorder specialists frequently observe this behaviour in their practice. More clinical and scientific attention for this phenomenon is necessary to determine its epidemiology, validity and clinical picture.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Vereniging Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Loading ...
Support Center