Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Orthorexia

Have you ever had someone bring a veggie burger to your barbeque?  Have you ever had an "intervention" by a concerned friend or family member who preached about the "correctness" of their "healthy" diet?  Did they get defensive when you provided counter evidence to their dogma?  Or, maybe that person is you (If you feel defensive, it's okay.  That's a normal response).

These behaviors relate to the condition "orthorexia", which refers to an extreme obsession with only eating "healthy" (derives from the Greek "Ortho" for "correct or right" and "orexis" meaning "appetite").  When I was a kid, it was called "health nut". 

Not that eating healthy is a disorder.  There is plenty of evidence that a healthy diet can reduce the incidence of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  This is how the term "Western Diseases" was coined.  However with all of the conflicting information on health, its not surprising that such a "disorder" could exist (it's not officially a disorder yet).

Here's a little self-test to determine if you or a loved one are orthorexic: Self-test from MetroActive

Here's a confessional from a recovering orthorexic (and the person who coined the term): Health Food Junkie

1 comment:

Dalan said...

That's so interesting.