A maniacal obsession for healthy foods
Ortho - correct, right, acceptable
Orexis - appetite
After Steven Bratman, M.D. published his book Health Food Junkies there has been a rise in awareness of orthorexia. Although it is not a medically defined mental disorder, many professionals are accepting the new diagnosis seriously.
What is Orthorexia Nervosa?
ON is a clinically unrecognised eating disorder when the patient suffers from an unnatural obsession with eating certain foods. Some professionals differ ON from Anorexia Nervosa because patients suffering from ON do not have a desire to lose weight, in fact, their objective is to become as personally pure as possible.
Sufferers of ON become so obsessed with their diet, they feel they must have the ultimate control. This usually leads to cutting out food groups that are important such as meats, dairy and cheeses. The diet becomes a way to live, and the patient becomes out of control of the situation, while trying to become more in control.
Orthorexia or Anorexia?There has been some debate whether orthorexia is different to anorexia. The two disorders display likeness in many ways but severe cases show clear differences. Most patients speak of a need to be totally pure and clean, healthy and perfect, not to lose weight. This is while anoretic patiens have similar needs, but have a strong desire to lose weight.
ON sufferers usually lose severe amounts of weight due to malnourishment and low calorie intake. Some may use vitamin and mineral supplements to slow this, but others choose not to because of added sugars or other ‘unclean’ properties. The similarity in the two disorders is slowing the process for officially recognised criteria because some professionals see anorexia and orthorexia as the same disorder.
Isn't this just a lifestyle?
Some agree that orthorexia has originated from the diet ‘gone wrong’ and that suffers are just extreme dieters like fruitarians, vegans or others for religious reasons. But when a diet becomes an addiction and food is consuming a large part of the day; there is a problem.
Have a said anything that is wrong?
Do you have an opinion on this disorder?
Do you know anyone who has suffered from this?
Would you like to add anything?
LettucePussy; I know you have Orthorexia, and if you have any personal insights into it that would be great. Also, please correct me if I am wrong with anything.