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Thread: Orthorexia: The New Eating Disorder page

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    chuckarie's Avatar
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    Orthorexia: The New Eating Disorder

    New Eating Disorders: Are They For Real?

    What do you think about this?

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    Well, orthorexia definitely describes a pattern of disordered eating that I've seen, even though it isn't recognized as a medical disorder (though it can have elements of OCD and anorexia nervosa). But that article has a crappy definition of it. They miss the critical distinction that the the MD who coined the term only intended it to refer to an unhealthy obsession with eating right:

    I never intended the expression to apply to anything other than extreme cases of over-focus, particularly where the person themselves would rather lighten up and stop thinking about it so much.
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    If there is legitimate neurosis then of course it is a disorder. The more towards rationality and less towards neurosis it gets the less of a disorder it is. Being concerned with one's health is not a disorder and even going so far as to not eat junk and just fast is not a disorder. When it negatively affects someone then it is. For example refusing to eat something that is unhealthy and will make you feel bad is not a disorder, that is rational. Refusing to eat it and getting upset at the notion is more of a disorder. Refusing to eat broccoli that was grown with the use of pesticides combined with neurosis is just downright nuts and even without the neurosis it is weird. Of course it is contentious what is healthy and what isn't and we can't really call superstition and pseudo-scientific assumption a disorder, just stupidity. It seems like the disorder exacerbates the irrationality.

    A low fat diet also clearly makes it worse
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    My sister in law is definitely "orthorexic". She was a model and has always been thin but she maintains it (after 2 children) by swearing she is SUPER healthy. She doesn't eat:
    -Any grains except quinoa or the occasional brown rice
    -Any meat/eggs/fish/etc.
    -Very, very little dairy

    She is OBSESSED with all organic. For breakfast she will eat an entire melon, for lunch she will eat like a bowl of quinoa and all sorts of vegetables that are steamed...and so on and so forth...and first of all I'm sure she doesn't get enough protein (she'll eat soybeans and other legumes occasionally, nuts rarely). She eats low-fat, high-carb, low-protein, but alsoo very clean food and very low-calorie. I have NEVER EVER seen her eat anything even remotely junky. NEVER. She is definitely obsessed and looks down on people if they don't eat as well as her. She is very snooty and clearly has complexes...maybe it's just because I know her, she might not sound as disordered on paper.

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    the local Korean restaurant makes some awesome shredded nori that's fried and sprinkled with sesame seeds. I asked the waitress what it was called and she just said, "You're Japanese, so you like it!" and brought me more......

    I'll try the sesame seed oil thing. I liked that it got crunchy so it was easier to eat
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    Alex Good's Avatar
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    Politics. Discredit the opposing faction to draw more supporters. In this case they're also using a touch of fear in the form of eating healthily being a gateway disorder to anorexia.
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    It's a kind of well-meaning (!?!) discrediting of perceived 'fad' diets. This is a classic "health food nuts" and moderation type argument.

    Lumping paleo-ish guidelines with the other stuff it make it appear that this WOE is also disordered although I'm not sure this was the intention as the article was generalised In any case, the bias of the article is very apparent - it's just towing the CW line. The article avoids discussing the basis for this refusal however, because, as Stabby said, refusal to eat some foodstuffs may have a legitimate basis whereas the disorder is a much more rare occurrence. I did notice that refusal to eat meat wasn't listed.

    I'm starting to feel that eating frankenfoods is almost a disorder in itself - a kind of pica. I mean if you know that something isn't food but you eat it anyway...

    Certainly becoming distressed if something isn't 100% compliant is disordered.

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    I definitely know people who could be diagnosed with this.

    One woman in my playgroup made herself throw up when she found out she had ingested CAFO beef.

    Another woman cried for (I kid you not) an entire weekend because her toddler ate a goldfish cracker. One. O.o

    I could go on. The fear, panic and anxiety that these people have toward food is not healthy.
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    MalPaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanyayogi View Post
    My sister in law is definitely "orthorexic". She was a model and has always been thin but she maintains it (after 2 children) by swearing she is SUPER healthy. She doesn't eat:
    -Any grains except quinoa or the occasional brown rice
    -Any meat/eggs/fish/etc.
    -Very, very little dairy

    She is OBSESSED with all organic. For breakfast she will eat an entire melon, for lunch she will eat like a bowl of quinoa and all sorts of vegetables that are steamed...and so on and so forth...and first of all I'm sure she doesn't get enough protein (she'll eat soybeans and other legumes occasionally, nuts rarely). She eats low-fat, high-carb, low-protein, but alsoo very clean food and very low-calorie. I have NEVER EVER seen her eat anything even remotely junky. NEVER. She is definitely obsessed and looks down on people if they don't eat as well as her. She is very snooty and clearly has complexes...maybe it's just because I know her, she might not sound as disordered on paper.
    agree she is snooty, disagree shes orthorexic though. she is conditioned to eat that way and holds a high self esteem and confidence in it, seeing that she looks down on those subpar to her own health. people with ED's DO NOT look down on another person for their food choices/habits. others habits may scare them as well as food itself. i dont really know how to describe orthorexia but i was diagnosed with it after leaving an outpatient treatment for anorexia. the doctor didnt know i had been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and continued to diagnose me orthorexic....doctors know nothing

    being scared of food is disordered. i am not scared of a piece of cake. i use to be, downright tremmoring and crying if it was put in front of me.

    being secluded from social aspects of life is disordered. like having to eat by yourself, or secluded b/c of rituals or shame. i use to not eat around people at all because i was ashamed and hated myself because i ate food.

    i use to count and tally out loud in my room by myself to rest assure i was okay. then repeat it on paper, on the computer...everywhere.

    i also use to cut out pictures of dessert food, recipes, and stare at fatty sugary food on the internet all day. also dont do this anymore nor have i for like 4 years.

    ED's are all about control in an individual who will not accept they have lost ALL control of their mind. it isnt really 'about' food but the rest assured mind that can keep going going going and be calm at the same time- crazy

    its not junk food vs food is orthorexia.

    theres a saying... if you eat food youre going to get sick and die and if you dont eat food youre going to get sick and die. so either way, figure out what makes you happy and mentally healthy and youve got it made

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    Quote Originally Posted by lil_earthmomma View Post
    I definitely know people who could be diagnosed with this.

    One woman in my playgroup made herself throw up when she found out she had ingested CAFO beef.

    Another woman cried for (I kid you not) an entire weekend because her toddler ate a goldfish cracker. One. O.o

    I could go on. The fear, panic and anxiety that these people have toward food is not healthy.
    yes, thats orthorexic....yikes

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