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Nigella Lawson Slams Clean Eating As 'A Way To Hide An Eating Disorder'

12/10/2015 04:38 EST | Updated 12/11/2015 12:59 EST

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson’s beef with clean eating is coming up again.

As Jezebel reports, the British author and television host was at the JW3 Speaker Series in London earlier this week and said, "People are using certain diets as a way to hide an eating disorder or a great sense of unhappiness and unease with their own body."

She went on to say that the healthy living trend can be taken to extremes when used in certain ways.

“Food is used either to self-congratulate — you're a better person because you're eating like that — or to self-persecute, because you'll not allow yourself to eat the foods you want."

nigella lawson

Lawson's spoken up about her thoughts on clean eating several times as she promotes her new cookbook, "Simply Nigella."

In October she made similar comments in an interview with the BBC. People Magazine reported Lawson said she thinks clean eating implies that any other sort of eating habit is “dirty or shameful.”

Her statements may be a bit extreme, but they could ring true for some.

Orthorexia nervosa is a form of anorexia in which the sufferer is obsessed with only eating foods one considers healthy and vehemently avoiding unhealthy food.

The term was coined by Dr. Steven Bratman in 1996, but according to National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), orthorexia is not recognized as a clinical diagnosis. NEDA does not, however, deny that some people dealing with eating disorders suffer from similar symptoms.

"I am not going to be that person who has such an obsession about body image"

Karin Kratina, a nutrition therapist, writes that it’s absolutely alright to follow a healthy diet, but if it’s taking up an “inordinate amount of time” in your life, unhealthy eating is met with guilt and self-loathing, or it’s used to avoid life issues, then it may pose a problem.

On Ireland's "The Late Late Show" last week, Lawson mentioned that her mom had an eating disorder while she was growing up, but it didn’t occur to her until after her mother had passed away.

She recalled, “I knew she had a thing about thinness,” but she “put two and two together” later on.

“Even before it got to that stage, I thought ‘I am not going to be that person’ ... who has such an obsession about body image and judging yourself so harshly.”

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