Daily Telegraph – 31 October 2015 – ‘Our food perfectionism can be toxic’

Suger is verboten. Bacon is bad. Sausages are on the naughty step. Another week, another slew of dietary diktats to make us even more paranoid about what we consume. The latest advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) on processed meats might well be scientific, but it is feeding a national obsession with health that is already bordering on the unhealthy.

‘Orthorexia’ isn’t yet classified as and “Official” eating disorder but mental health professionals have seen a dramatic rise. Dr Bijal Chheda-Varma, a psychologist at Nightingale Hospital London describes a clear increase in patients who get anxious “if they eat anything ‘toxic’ like sugar”. Social media may have a big part to play. “My younger clients spend a lot of time on Instagram, looking at plates of ‘perfect’ lifestyles and their ‘perfect’ healthy food” says Dr Chheda-Varma.

We should worry about this kind of condition going mainstream. of all the things our great-grandparents might be shocked by in 2015, the phenomenon of people scrolling through pictures of shredded courgettes and egg-white omelettes must be up there.

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