Diets low in fat, carbohydrates and sugar have become more and more popular for people who want to live healthily and lose weight, but the trend may be dangerous for children.
Experts from the national association against eating disorders, LMS, warn that a growing number of children, primarily girls aged 8-10, are malnourished due to strict bans in their homes against certain foods,
"The girls who consult me are literally afraid to eat butter, white bread or pasta. It's poison to them," eating disorder therapist Pernille Ungermann told Berlingske.
"They live with so many completely twisted bans and restrictions on food. First it's the Atkin's diet, and they only eat proteins and no carbohydrates. Then it's paleo, rawfood or the 5:2 diet."
There are no figures for how many people are suffering from orthorexia, obsessive avoidance of unhealthy food, but around 75,000 children and adults live with some kind of eating disorder, according to LMS.
Better underfed than overweight
If kids learn to eat healthily and it prevents them from becoming overweight, some parents may not see it as a problem that their children feel guilty about eating candy at a birthday party.
Every fifth child is now overweight, but the strict low-carb trend is found in families from a different social class, according to childhood obesity consultant Jens-Christian Holm of Holbæk Hospital.
"It's obviously an upper class phenomenon," Holm told Berlingske. "It's often well-educated and wealthy families who use these twisted arguments."