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Is Our Obsession With Being Healthy Becoming Unhealthy?

04/03/2016 10:12 GMT | Updated 04/03/2017 10:12 GMT

Celebrity fans such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley are just a few of the Bone Broth evangelists who argue that the popular liquid diet can transform your appearance, improve health and revitalise energy levels. The Bone Broth programme founded by Tim Connor is just one of the new health food, clean eating regimes which is attracting a lot of admiration.

Health food blogging and clean has never been more on trend. Rarely a day passes without Pinterest being inundated with pictures of fancy overnight oats or an array of news articles about no-sugar clean eating recipes. Is this healthy eating movement, with its dedicated online fan base, triggering eating disorders, as disciplined followers become more selective and rigid over their food choices? In our society of either eating too much, or too little, we've now managed to warp our eating patterns even further - it's not about how much or little one eats now; it's now about the virtue of food.

Sugar, fat and carbs are considered sinful by most health conscious dieters. When I overhear someone in the office berating themselves, moaning "I've been terrible!" It is more than likely that they are not talking about committing a moral wrong doing, but rather what simply passed their lips at lunch-time. Why should eating be virtuous? Or sinful? We're all familiar with labelling foods good and bad, naughty and nice, but now there's a new extreme - clean foods: pure, whole and virtuous. As if the very act of eating can somehow make you righteous, moral, and perfect. I thought people threw around the term detox only within the first few days of January before their will power subsided, but it seems as if the clean eating boom has ballooned over recent years and it's not seeming to peter out. Health blogging is now an actual bona fide career; gone are the days of Holland and Barrett selling pulses and nuts, now supermarkets have specifically sectioned off aisles with whole foods - what happened to just eating? Is the simple meat and two veg become a historical meal? Nigella Lawson has also expressed concerns over the rage of clean eating, telling the BBC she thinks the "notion of clean eating is an implication that any other forms of eating are dirty or shameful".

As a recovering anorexic, I've often scoured the web for new diets to adopt, a way to gain weight in a "healthy and safe way", when all I should have been focusing on was just eating. In my search for an innocuous recovery, I found clean eating; selecting a diet described as pure and natural seemed like a dream. Clean eating covers everything from gluten free to raw food and is praised by many, so what's not to love? Is clean eating a healthy option or would I merely be trading in an already nutritiously deficient disordered diet for another eating disorder, involving avoiding and disregarding whole food groups like sugar, fat, carbs?

Is this obsession with eating healthy becoming unhealthy?

Ortherexia is gaining more press in recent years, the unclassified eating disorder is identified as an extreme fixation of avoiding unhealthy foods. Are the pressures of healthy eating to be blamed for this growing development? In hospital, whilst recovering from anorexia, I was given the best and most freeing advice I ever heard, no food is bad food.

That's right, you heard it here first - no food is bad. No food can ever be wholly bad, even a sinful McDonald's burger can provide protein from the meat, essential fatty acids from the cheese and mayonnaise, and they even include a slice of lettuce, which can all add up to your five a day. As the lifeless phrase goes, everything in moderation.

However, there seems to be no escaping the clean eating trend, simply type into Instagram "clean eating" and you're sure to be barraged by an endless stream of "fitspo", clean eating inspiration and health eating bloggers. For the many who adhere to clean eating, I'm sure clean eating promotes a healthy, happy relationship towards food, but there is a faction who may take the rules too far. Vulnerable people, like myself, can end up following fads and trends that have no background or scientific basis to them whatsoever.

My advice would be everything in moderation and everything in balance.