View Full Version : Orthorexia
01-23-2001, 02:52 PM
Have any of you heard about the latest eating disorder? My Mom sent me an article about "orthorexia nervosa" yestrday, and I totally relate. Here's a link to a site that gives more info:
Let me know what yall think.
Also, here are some questions they ask to see if you identify with this disorder:
Are you spending more than three hours a day thinking about healthy food?
Are you planning tomorrow's menu today?
Is the virtue you feel about what you eat more important than the pleasure you receive from eating it?
Has the quality of your life decreased as the quality of your diet increased?
Have you become stricter with yourself?
Does your self-esteem get a boost from eating healthy?
Do you look down on others who don't eat this way?
Do you skip foods you once enjoyed in order to eat the "right" foods?
Does your diet make it difficult for you to eat anywhere but at home, distancing you from friends and family.
Do you feel guilt or self-loathing when you stray from your diet?
When you eat the way you're supposed to, do you feel in total control?
[This message has been edited by acorreia (edited 01-23-2001).]
01-23-2001, 03:15 PM
Another good link: http://www.beyondveg.com/billings-t/orthorexia/orthorexia-1a.shtml
01-23-2001, 03:39 PM
This site has pushed a few buttons with me, so I feel compelled to point some things out.
I hate to be a cynic, but I really think this is just another way of avoiding calling someone anorexic. The main stipulation this site gave between anorexics and orthorexics is that anorexics are concerned with quanity of food vs. quality of food, and orthorexics feel the opposite way. I've got news for them -- people suffering from anorexia suffer highly from food discrimination and go to all costs to find other reasons to eliminate various food groups. Every single symptom they listed for orthorexia is present in someone with anorexia.
I also can't give the site too much credit, either, because of the overwhelming abundance of spelling and grammatical errors. And I will have to restrain myself here, because I totally disagree with much of the site's overgeneralization of both anorexia and bulimia.
Cultural and Environmental Factors:
The ideal image of the woman’s body has changed in a radical way in the last years, every day it demands women to be thinner and thinner. Almost all the models are anorexic or bulimic and they’re being imitate by teenager girls, and no matter what happens to get their goal to be like this models.
I will overlook in this instance that the paragraph is grammatically incorrect; besides that, this theory is bull#@$* . There are entirely too many complicated issues involved with anorexia to declare that society is the cause -- everyone sees these images, but only some of us are affected -- and we'd be affected nonetheless, even without the propaganda, because we are predisposed. There are too many underlying issues, including chemical imbalances and countless psychological causes, to simplify anorexia to mere vanity-in-excess.
Anorexia: Rigid, not tolerant and very strict families.
This is also pure crap. My parents were so tolerant, easy-going and lenient with my sister and me, but that didn't seem to make a difference. Yes, the environment you grow up in and the nature in which others regard you has some effect on whether or not you develop an eating disorder, but to characterize the family of an anorexic in this way is positively absurd.
Gosh, I could go on and on, but I can't take anything I've seen on this site with anything less than a grain of salt -- I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert on this topic, and I get really annoyed by people (as in the web site creator) who don't have a clue what they're talking about.
Big smile now; I feel better http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/biggrin.gif
[This message has been edited by emilycat (edited 03-30-2001).]
01-23-2001, 04:09 PM
Wow, Emily, I could not have said it any better--I share your sentiments exactly; I was about to give a similar rant but you beat me to it! I read an article about orthorexia in Time or Newsweek a couple of weeks ago and that is exactly what popped into my head--isn't this just about the same thing as anorexia? Aren't all these "professionals" trying a little too hard to put another name on it?
01-23-2001, 06:49 PM
I hadn't heard about this and don't consider myself an expert in the field, but it makes sense to me. Sometimes I feel like I see some of this on this board.
I thought the second link was extremely well-written and thoughtful. I guess it doesn't matter to me whether this is just another attempt to label people something other than "anorexic." It seems like a different "strain" of anorexia than what one normally envisions.
Thanks for sharing, acorreia.
01-23-2001, 06:56 PM
I had never heard of this until today, and now I've seen it in 2 different places. I just got a new issue of Self Magazine, and I noticed in one of the leters to the editor that there was an article about this in the November issue. I don't think I have that issue, but you might want to look for it at the library. I couldn't find the article ("Can You Eat Too Healthy?") on their website.
01-23-2001, 08:07 PM
Thanks mightyh and slknight. I'm about to leave work and was feeling pretty bummed. It's good to know that there are others who can relate to what I'm going thru. I agree, the first link I put up was not that good. My mom sent me an article from the newspaper, and it basically talked about this guy Steven Bratman, M.D.
(Here's a link to his main article: http://www.beyondveg.com/bratman-s/hfj/hf-junkie-1a.shtml).
My mom sent her article to me b/c she worries and this was the closest thing she has seen that describes my behavior. I had never heard of it either, until yesterday.
I posted this b/c I too sense that alot of people on this BB go thru these feelings.
It was just an FYI. I haven't done much reading on it really.....just my mom's article and my minimal internet searches from today.
01-23-2001, 08:50 PM
Maybe I'm missing something, but why were you feeling bummed?? Emily didn't mean anything disparaging by her post, she just (as I am) is tired of the media's distorted and often misinformed perception of eating disorders and their causes. I'm not sure how old you are, but Emily and I are close to the same age and this has reaqlly been a "hot button" so to speak for our generation and it is important that ALL sides of the story are addressed as far as eating disorders are concerned--for example, when I was a freshman in college, I was almost jealous of some of the anorexic girls and envied their apparent control and resolve because I had never been exposed to the devastating effects in which anorexia can result. So I am just wondering why you were upset/offended?
01-23-2001, 09:38 PM
I, too, am sorry if my post hurt your feelings in any way...I didn't mean at all to indicate that I didn't understand how you feel; on the contrary, I think we both know that our situations are (or at least have been) quite similar.
All I meant to say was that this designation of habits as "orthorexia" is a bit of a stretch -- I think that the disorder that they're describing, and that you're relating to, is simply anorexia. Everyone's disease is different and doesn't fit a cookie cutter mold -- I just think that naming it something different is a way to avoid labeling some people as anorexic, when some other name may be deemed by themselves, and others, as more socially acceptable.
01-24-2001, 07:53 AM
01-24-2001, 04:57 PM
Just a little investigation reveals that Stephen Bratman MD(the author of the quoted article) is a "holistic" physician - not a psychologist or psychaitrist. This article was printing in YOGA today, not JAMA!
When reading any kind of article or web page I like to a little research on the author. http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif
Emily - do you see my posts and want to get the red pen out? I have the worst grammar, I envy people like you!
01-24-2001, 08:08 PM
Strange, I just saw a book today at my university's library called something like "Health Food Addicts" or something like that and then I see this post. I guess my response is that if the concern is for something akin to anorexia then I can understand. I appreciate Emily's input on that subject (sounds like you have some very personal experience with it and my heart goes out to you there). If anyone on this board is concerned about this then I would encourage them to seek professional, psychiatric help right away.
However, I also think that there are some people who are somehow threatened by people who care about what they put in their mouths. My fear is that people will start to use this as an yet another excuse to dismiss people in their lives who are, in a healthy way, making important changes in their lives. I have a friend right now who is a good 100 pounds overweight, with high blood pressure and some sort of blood sugar problem which so far has not gotten diagnosed (and I fear may turn into adult onset diabetes). Unfortunately, there is so much contradictory and poorly presented info out there that she is unwilling to really commit to the kind of life change she needs: moderate exercise (she does none), 30% calories from fat, high fiber diet. These kinds of half-informed sites on the web don't help matters.
Sorry if I went off topic and ranted a little but I really felt I needed to share my concerns. Again, I support you, Angela, in your concerns and hope that you will seek a professional soon if you feel it necessary. It isn't easy to make a step like that (I know, I've been there) but it can be the most important step you take.
01-25-2001, 07:47 AM
Wow, Linda, that is a really insightful perspective that I had overlooked. But I know what you mean--my parents look at me like I am insane when I start separating my eggs and buying soy cheese, although both of them are at least 10-20 pounds overweight. Maybe it is a generational thing. . . . Anyway, thanks for your anecdote--it puts a different spin on things.
01-25-2001, 08:17 AM
thank you for your insightful comments. after reading this thread, i really started thinking about eating disorders and how our society influences women and girls who are prone to them. I, too, had personal experience with this problem, and agree that it has way more to do with the person and not the outside influences that we are so quick to blame.
01-25-2001, 06:13 PM
Oh, no, foodgirl, I see everyone's posts and want to take the red pen out! http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/tongue.gif
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.