TOP 7 BIZARRE EATING HABITS
Characterized by the obsession with eating healthy foods, this disease can be confused with and/or diagnosed as anorexia, the main difference being the reasoning behind the eating habits. Anorexics are obsessed with losing weight, while orthorexics feel a need for healthy or “pure” foods. Orthorexia is not recognized by the DSM IV and in general, will not be diagnosed, but it is seeing an increasing stronghold across the U.S.
Anorexia is self-starvation and is often associated with other bizarre habits such as drinking orange juice laced with cotton wool in order to give a false sense of satiety. This is a serious eating disorder that causes many deaths every year around the world.
Xylophagia is a disorder in which a person eats wood. Sufferers will also eat wood-derived products like paper, pencils, and tree bark. It is not entirely uncommon in children where it can be a typical oral fixation.
Hyalophagia is glass-eating. It is a pathological illness and is, for obvious reasons, extremely dangerous to humans as glass can cut the stomach, intestines, and throat as it passes through the body.
Geophagy is the eating of the earth such as clay and chalk. It can often occur in a person with mineral deficiencies but it can be a mental disorder in healthy people. Scientists have mixed views on this practice, with some believing it harmless and others believing it dangerous.
Anthropophagy is also known as cannibalism; it is the act of eating other members of the human race. Anthropophagy has been practiced throughout history in tribes in the Amazon Basin and South America.
Trichophagia is the compulsive consumption of hair—most often one’s own. Frequently a person with long hair will chew the ends while it is still attached to the head. This can be very dangerous, as hair will gather in the gastrointestinal tract. In 2007 an eighteen-year-old girl was found to have a ten-pound hairball in her stomach.