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Veganism: A ‘potentially deadly’ risk for those with an eating disorder

Deborah Knight

A rise in veganism and clean eating is being blamed for masking eating disorders.

Dieticians are worried the popularity of vegan diets is normalising restrictive eating and giving those struggling with an eating disorder a reason to cut food from their diets.

Dietician Meg McClintock tells Deborah Knight “the main thing to understand is that eating disorders are really opportunistic”.

“They can take something that is intended to promote health and wellbeing and will twist it and manipulate it into something incredibly harmful and potentially deadly.”

Veganism is very restrictive by nature with strong rules around cutting out meat and animal-based foods like eggs and cheese.

Ms McLintock says this implements “some trigger influences in people who are vulnerable or predisposed to developing them”.

“And they hope or believe that becoming vegan will help them control their eating and help them control themselves around food.”

Ms McClintock says the idea that vegans are all thin is being fuelled by social media.

“But it’s certainly not true and it’s not a healthy way to approach the way that we eat to try to manipulate our body.”

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