Orthorexia Nervosa

Nowadays nutritionists and psychologists talk about new eating disorder more and more often. The wish to consume only healthy and nutritious products is likely to turn into a real obsession. The excessive concern about healthy eating has received the name “orthorexia”, which is originated from the Greek root “ortho” meaning “right” or “normal”. This term was introduced by Steven Bratman. He wrote a book about the health nutrition addiction. Being a doctor he still was subjected to this problem and had undergone all the tortures of orthorexia. His book “Health Food Junkies: Orthorexia Nervosa: Overcoming the Obsession with Healthful Eating” tell us a real story of a person who finally has managed to cope with his eating disorder. In 70s Steven Bratman founded a community for those who wished to consume only organic food. The basis of their meals was constituted by fresh fruit and vegetables which were grown by the members of this community. These people didn’t consume meat of fish and were to chew each bite of food for no less than 50 times. Gradually the rules became more and more strict. As a result Steven Bratman was mentally and physically exhausted. Luckily he met a monk who explained him the difference between healthy and extreme eating and convinced him that fanaticism and healthy living are not one and the same thing.

The wish to buy only the healthy organic products of the best quality is explained by the wide assortment of different types of food that a consumer sees in numerous food stores. The problems appear when a person gets fixed upon the healthy eating and that starts affecting his or her lifestyle. Avoiding all the products that contain artificial colors or flavors is not a bad habit itself but when it takes over the person’s mind it can become a dangerous obsession. Counting calories and constant rereading the content can make everyone go insane.

Today many women make a successful career and earn a good deal of money. In their situation the wish to live a longer and healthier life is quite natural. So they begin to choose the food of the highest quality. Gradually all their thoughts start concentrating about food and nutrition. Of course this way of living can’t be called a happy and healthy one as they remain in a never ending tension and can’t be distracted or relaxed.

Orthorexia is not the physiological but a psychological disorder. The abnormal overconcern about the quality and use of products may be a sign of a psychological problem or fixation. That may be the fear to seem worse than the other people or the wish to get control over the situation in a family. Sometimes punctual and pedantic people usually perform their work accurately and keep their house in order. But they tend to carry their serious attitude over food. In that way such people turn their meals into almost religious ritual. If they boil eggs they stand near the pot with a stop watch in their hand to prevent eggs from being boiled extra 5 seconds.

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One response to “Orthorexia Nervosa”

  1. Sue says :

    Hi! I’m Sue, and I’m from SlimKicker, a diet/fitness app and site. I found your blog a few days ago and it captured my interest!

    I’m contacting you b/c we’re about to release a fitness tracker (similar to FitBit) early next year, and are looking for bloggers who would be interested in receiving 1 for free to review when it is out (negative or positive).

    Would you be interested in doing this? You can email me at: sue (at) slimkicker (com) with ‘Review’ in the email heading if you are.

    Just to let you know, our site SlimKicker basically turns your diet/fitness goals into a level-up RPG game. The tracker will work in conjunction the website, and allow people to track calories burned and number of steps they walk automatically. The more they exercise, the more points they rack up! That’s basically how it will work.

    Anyway, hope to hear back either way…

    – Sue
    P.S. You can choose not to display this comment as this is more of a private comment 🙂

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