It is great to eat healthy and many of people may benefit greatly if you are paying more focus on what they eat. However, many people get so involved and focusing on their food that it becomes an obsession. This obsession with "healthy" eating can override people's other interests in life, impair relationships, replace their love and joy in everyday life and cause other mental and physical problems.
An excessive amount of "healthy" eating can easily turn into an eating disorder that's called orthorexia. Health food junkies tend to be more at risk of developing orthorexia than balanced eaters. The sufferers avoid particular foods such as things with preservatives, fats, animal products, sugar and others. Many of them get obsessed with raw foods. Sometimes this obsession goes so far that the person lives just on raw green leafs for weeks or months. This results in malnutrition, starvation and even death.
Orthorexia often begins with a desire to overcome a chronic illness or to improve overall health so people start watching what they eat. Unlike anorexics who wish to just lose weight; othorexics have different motives for his or her behaviour. Individuals with orthorexia strive to be pure, healthy and back to what they call nature. This kind of motivation creates plenty of confusion about their diagnosis amongst health workers. Many doctors diagnose anorexia in patients who actually have orthorexia.
The term orthorexia is coined with a doctor from Colorado Steven Bratman MD. Exactly what does it mean? The Greek word "ortho" means "correct or right" and "orexis "means "appetite". It comes with an element of obsessive -compulsiveness in orthorexia and those that have obsessive personalities develop orthorexia easier than individuals who don't have these traits.
The data on orthorexia show that it is much more common than anorexia as well as bulimia. Many more people describe only the orthorexic traits in research questions, not anorexic or bulimic ones, these folks may already have a fully developed disease.
Do you know the criteria for someone who may have orthorexia?
- Exaggerated concerns about healthy eating - Avoiding social events because they may be linked to unhealthy eating - Sense of isolation from people due to the "food" matter - Visiting health food stores every day for the reason of finding "healthy" products - Loss of weight and emaciation - Starving because they are afraid of eating "unhealthy" food - Describing some foods as dangerous - Attaching an excessive amount of emotions to food - Constantly making "next day " diet plan - Strong uncontrollable desire to eat when feeling nervous, excited, happy or guilty. - Spending a lot of time shopping for "healthy" food - Dependence on different diets (trying new diets constantly)
In conclusion it's worth noting that moderation and balance remains the key to everything especially concerning food and eating. Dieting could be a great tool to enhance some health issues but when come to the extreme a diet can turn into an obsession that may completely distort the person's rationality when it comes to food.
Before people begin a diet they ought to understand each side of their actions: the negative and positive side from the diet. The mechanism for developing obsessions ought to be taken into consideration. When a person knows how their brain works and just how it is possible to get totally hooked on things, especially if you are prone to obsessive behavior. Understanding of what can occur to them ought to be taken into their dieting plans at the start, not waiting until it is too late to alter their eating habits.