I am looking for the official name for people who worry constantly about what is in their food. Consequently, who constantly change their diet because of perceived possible future health issues.

The Internet seems to have a limitless supply of "Warning: XXX considered dangerous and is in everyone's food!" articles, enabling these poor people.

Something similar to hypochondriac, I suppose.

1 Answer 1


Yes, there indeed a phobia for the irrational fear in which you are describing. It is called Chemophobia, and it is described as

Chemophobia is specifically a distrust of what people view as "artificial" chemicals – food additives, drugs, pesticides and so on. This is usually attributed to a lack of trust and knowledge among the public, which is often fueled by tabloid-based health scares and the occasional additive shown to possibly be toxic. Advances in the field of analytical chemistry are also thought to be behind chemophobia, as modern techniques are capable of identifying substances in very low (parts per billion or even trillion) and harmless quantities.

For a more substantiated and scholarly source, have a look at Food Chemistry and Chemophobia. For just a brief glimpse of what the detailed article is about, here is the abstract below:

Chemophobia is the exaggerated fear of anything ‘chemical’ which is found quite widespread both in the Western world and in Asia. That food incontrovertibly is chemistry seems to require regulation of all sorts. As we will see below, that would truly necessitate gargantuan determination exceeding every regulatory effort to date. Worse, it will be futile. Our food is peppered with natural compounds such as organohalogens, dioxins, aflatoxins, and many others. These we will briefly discuss, including their natural whereabouts. Overall, the aim of this paper is to show that food is chemistry beyond our immediate control, including those synthetic chemicals that are deemed to be artificial and should not be found in ‘safe’ food. The latter is an overestimation of regulatory competence and an underestimation of nature to produce most unlikely chemicals in unlikely places, including our food.

Ta Da! There is basically a phobia for everything.

enter image description here

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.