Orthorexia is when the mania for “healthy eating” is taken to extremes, which can become a serious disorder for those who suffer from it.
For these “sick” people, nutrition becomes a problem. The canned product is considered by them to be artificial and dangerous to their health, similar to industrially produced food, but the organic product is considered to be “healthy”. In addition, it has been scientifically proven that when they are nervous, excited, happy, or experiencing any unusual sensations, they suppress those feelings through eating.
Recent studies show that people with orthorexia end up focusing almost exclusively on what they eat, food being the center of their thoughts and their lives.
As a general rule, meat, fats, foods grown with pesticides or herbicides, and those containing artificial substances are discarded, but their obsession with eating as healthily as possible goes a long way and they even worry about how they are prepared. your food. who cook for them.
Every small eating disorder is accompanied by a growing sense of guilt and frustration. Everything that is not “natural” is rejected, which has a very negative impact on a person’s social life. Eating in a bar or restaurant is unthinkable for these people. They spend most of their time planning menus and preparing food.
Orthorexia, as a general rule, is more common in very strict, demanding and controlled people with themselves and others. Women, adolescents and those involved in sports such as bodybuilding or athletics are the most vulnerable groups, as they are generally very sensitive to the nutritional value of food and its impact on the figure or body image.
These people want to look perfect, something like people who suffer from anorexia or bulimia nervosa, but anorexics and bulimics worry about the amount of food they eat, while orthorexics are obsessed with the quality of it.
The first case of this “disease” was invented in the late 90’s, a decade very marked by the cult of the body and body image, by the American doctor Stephen Bratman, after he himself suffered the symptoms of this disorder, orthorexia, establishing guidelines to help identify unhealthy or eating behaviors.
This is the test (modified by Dr. Bratman) that can help diagnose:
Do you spend more than three hours a day thinking about your diet?
Do you plan your meal a few days in advance?
Do you think that the nutritional value of the dish is more important than the pleasure it brings you?
Has your quality of life decreased with increasing quality of your diet?
Did he become stricter with himself during that time?
Have you improved your self-esteem by eating healthy?
Do you give up eating foods that you like to eat “good” foods?
Is your diet a problem when you eat out, and does that take you away from family and friends?
Do you feel guilty when you miss your regimen?
Do you feel at peace with yourself and believe that everything is under control when you eat healthy?
If you answer four or five questions in the affirmative, it means that you need to relax more when it comes to your diet. Now, if you answer yes to all the questions, it means that you are obsessed with healthy eating and if you want, there are specialists who can help you.
As the diet becomes more difficult, if you exclude foods that are considered essential for the normal functioning of the body, more or less serious situations can occur such as: malnutrition, anemia, multiple deficiencies of vitamins and minerals and a high risk of infections, by the way .
Personally, the consequences of suffering from this disease on life and the social environment are mainly isolation, changes in character and distancing from friends and family.
Emphasis should be placed on both prevention and early diagnosis, as the earlier it is diagnosed, the better the prognosis.
From a dietary and nutritional point of view, the goals of treatment are in the first place to cover the minimum nutritional needs of the person.
Gradually, a larger amount of staple foods should be provided until the appropriate level is reached, taking into account age, gender, height and actual weight at the beginning of treatment.
As with all eating disorders, eating habits need to be restructured so that the diet is complete, balanced and well distributed throughout the day.
The foods that should be included in the daily diet should be determined according to what a person ingests spontaneously, increasing their variety and quantity depending on their tolerance and evolution, so that their motivation and desire to accept dietary guidelines are from essential.
The introduction of initially rejected foods should be gradual.
Generally speaking, the specialist doctor will explain the importance of a varied and complete diet, introducing every day a sufficient amount of basic foods necessary for the proper functioning of the body.
As with most aspects of our diet, the most important thing is moderation. Adopting a healthy diet should have a positive effect on health without ceasing to enjoy life or affect relationships with others.
Do not you think?
Now is your time.