Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Orthorexia Disorder: Obsession With Healthy Eating

You've heard about anorexia and bulimia, but have you heard of orthorexia?

It's an eating disorder first diagnosed more than a decade ago,  there's a part of society that is obsessed with eating only raw, pure or healthy organic food.
And some say, that obsession can be as harmful as any other eating disorder.
Orthorexics commonly have strict rules about eating.
Refusing to touch sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, gluten, yeast, soya, corn and dairy foods is just the start of their obsession.
People suffering from this obsession may display the following signs.
  • Spending more than three hours a day thinking about healthy food
  • Planning tomorrow's menu today
  • Feeling virtuous about what they eat, but not enjoying it much
  • Continually limiting the number of foods they eat
  • Experiencing a reduced quality of life or social isolation(because their diet makes it difficult for them to eat anywhere but at home)
  • Feeling critical of others who do not eat as well they do
  • Skipping foods they once enjoyed in order to eat the "right" foods
  • Feeling guilt or self-loathing when they stray from their diet
  • Feeling in "total" control when they eat the correct diet
  • Do you examine every detail of what is in the food item?
  • Do you only allow yourself health foods?
  • Can you eat a meal prepared by someone else?
  • Do you observe and comment on the way other people are preparing food?
  • Do you find yourself thinking about nutritional content during the day?
  • Do you worry about eating something that is not necessarily ‘good’ for you?
These are the signs of obsession, but hopefully you are concerned with more important things like how much marbling is in your rib eye steak and how much butter and sour cream you can stuff in your baked potato.