For most vegans, their diet is a way to avoid animal products, but for some, it’s become a way to avoid food—period. Veganism is becoming more popular in America, where 5% of the population follows the no-animal-products diet. Most of those people are making a healthy choice, writes Danielle Friedman for the Daily Beast. But for those prone to eating disorders, veganism can quickly become dangerous, because it can mask or trigger anorexia or bulimia.
Vegans, after all, have a good excuse for skipping the turkey and stuffing at Thanksgiving dinner, so families are often blind to their risky eating habits. Younger adherents are especially at risk, according to a 2009 study. One doctor and dietician’s controversial advice to parents: Don’t allow children to be vegetarian until college, because the diet can be a “ruse.” And veganism isn't the most extreme diet out there: Click here to read about “freegans.”