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Old 12-29-2014, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Chicago
607 posts, read 588,681 times
Reputation: 832

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There is a newly diagnosed mental disorder called Orthorexia Nervosa. The gist of it is that those that
have this disorder spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing about the quality of food they eat.



This is far from a fear of Gluten, and covers anything you can imagine one could consider a threat in their foods..GMO's, carbs, salt, sugar, transfat, you name it.....these poor souls sometimes spend 3 hours(presumably at Whole Foods or the like), going obsessively over the labels and ingredients of each and every item they purchase. They obsess over exercise, wondering if they have burned enough calories that day. Over sleep(too much? not enough?). Over stress.



At a certain point, this becomes plain OCD, which, ironically, is how this mental disorder is being treated.
I have often thought that those shoppers that are a little TOO cautious and careful about what they eat were OCD-like, but according to the psychologists, this is actually no different than OCD at a certain point, and very similar to another "nervosa", anorexia...



Here is a short excerpt from the article describing the disorder(yes, you can be too "healthy", obsessed about the same so much, you go full circle and deprive your body of nutrients)..

Those who have an “unhealthy obsession” with otherwise healthy eating may be suffering from “orthorexia nervosa,” a term which literally means “fixation on righteous eating.” Orthorexia starts out as an innocent attempt to eat more healthfully, but orthorexics become fixated on food quality and purity. They become consumed with what and how much to eat, and how to deal with “slip-ups.” An iron-clad will is needed to maintain this rigid eating style. Every day is a chance to eat right, be “good,” rise above others in dietary prowess, and self-punish if temptation wins (usually through stricter eating, fasts and exercise). Self-esteem becomes wrapped up in the purity of orthorexics’ diet and they sometimes feel superior to others, especially in regard to food intake.


I hate to say this, but I know people like this, and there are many people out there sadly getting this way.

Here are a few recent articles and websites on this phenomenon(yes, there INDEED is an overobsession with health out there).

Orthorexia Home Page -

When eating too healthy becomes harmful - today > health - TODAY.com



These people often have a fear of eating out, as they cannot trust something they did not prepare themselves. They also often wash fruits, veggies, etc. multiple times. I think the saddest thing is
when they do the same to their children, depriving them of any joy at eating even a small amount of fun food kids have enjoyed for generations, like pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, tacos, you name it.

BBC News - Can healthy eating be forced on children?



Any opinions out there on OVERhealthy eating? Any friends/people you know that obsess over their groceries and meals? Do you find this sad? a good thing?
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Old 12-29-2014, 04:30 PM
 
894 posts, read 798,372 times
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I can totally see it. My sister obsesses over every food she eats and is fanatic about eating "clean." The crazy thing is, she looks worse since she started this diet. Her face is thin and drawn and she actually looks older than she did before.

Personally I'm all about moderation. I try to eat healthy most of the time, with occasional treats thrown in here and there. I'm 36 and have managed to stay the same size since high school.
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Old 12-29-2014, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Chicago
607 posts, read 588,681 times
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I think moderation is the normal way to go, GoFigureMeOut.....

It makes total sense. You are not depriving yourself, yet you are eating healthy, mixing it up, and even having a little fun with your "treats".....I think it is good to have one "anything goes" food day, preferably on week-ends. Not to go crazy, but definitely to eat a FEW naughty foods, such as chips, pizza, burgers, even a little candy.

I think I created my own style. I am a 6-day vegetarian. I eat a nice steak or big burger once a week, usually on Saturdays, and the other 6 days drink a large glass of a Smoothie for breakfast(There are great pre-made ones of all flavours at most decent groceries, not just the Whole Foods thing), along with beans, lentils, salads, nuts, greens, kale, you name it, the rest of the day.

Call me a quasi-vegetarian if you want. I do sometimes eat cheese and drink milk as well....it works for me..

I would go nuts adhering to an anal "you can only eat this" diet. Not only do they never last, but they border on OCD...

So sad seeing people who obsess over food.....indeed, they are so health-obsessed they are sick, and have lost a natural joy/delight in food.....

Ever see a thin chef?...lol

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Old 12-29-2014, 04:57 PM
 
Location: USA
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sounds like my mom. And yes, I find it sad as cooking and being in the kitchen consumes a lot of her time.
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Old 12-29-2014, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Chicago
607 posts, read 588,681 times
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I think it is different, though, for Moms that have that traditional role in the household, and have the time to do so.
Some woman seem to be born for that role. More power to them, if they have that family caretaker role.

That being said, if you read those articles, some women are taking 3 hours plus shopping for groceries....indeed, if one is not working and has the time, I suppose it is just part of being a "mommy", but I have to go back in time to when I grew up.

My mom, in the 1970's, hardly obsessed about ingredients. She was young at the time, in her early 30's. She simply bought per what ingredients she needed for her recipes, staples, and always some fun food. We always had potato chips and soda, usually Pepsi, in 8-bottle returnable cartons, on the landing out the back door. I do not ever recall being forced to eat health food, though we always had veggies on our plate. Often in stews, which people seem to have forgot about making. Truly, is there anything short of smoothies that is more delicious, containing vegetables, than a good, hot stew, especially in the winter..?



Other than that, she hardly obsessed, and still does not, in her 70's.....

My Dad expected the crisper drawer full of lunchmeat(usually salami, ham, some cheese), some type of dish(pork chops,
veal parmesan, etc.), and some chips and soda......

Back then, we did not know, and even less care, what the trans-fat count was, let alone the calories themselves.
We simply had dinner, and that was it....of course, most dinners came with a baked potato, and some greens(usually split peas or carrots)....



Truly, I found those 70's meals to be quite filling and nutritious, and we, as a family, were not even as large as the average families are now...of course, we all played outside 24/7 pre-video games, and the parents themselves worked in the garden and yard and were active as well....

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Old 12-29-2014, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Ashburn, VA
988 posts, read 2,391,087 times
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My brother is like this (and is about 20 pounds underweight). He spends hours obsessing about his "healthy" food choices and trying to find a suitable restaurant to go out to with him is near impossible. Aside from the food obsession he also has a medical obsession- doctors are flat out wrong in his mind and every single ailment can be cured holistically. He lives in California and seems to surround himself with like minded people. But his lifestyle is SO extreme he's really unhealthy.
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Chicago
607 posts, read 588,681 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdcrim View Post
My brother is like this (and is about 20 pounds underweight). He spends hours obsessing about his "healthy" food choices and trying to find a suitable restaurant to go out to with him is near impossible. Aside from the food obsession he also has a medical obsession- doctors are flat out wrong in his mind and every single ailment can be cured holistically. He lives in California and seems to surround himself with like minded people. But his lifestyle is SO extreme he's really unhealthy.
mdcrim, did you ever notice that people like this seem to have some idea that they will never age or die if they "do the right things"?...

I truly feel that those that are obsessed with "all things health" think that they also will never get sick or develop any long-term conditions.....as if, when perfection, or some idea of the same, of "healthy living' is reached, there is some "heaven on earth" land, a Neverland(with apologies to Peter Pan and Micheal Jackson), where one will never grow old, let alone get sick....

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Old 12-29-2014, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
2,533 posts, read 2,695,029 times
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I mean I sure do like to eat healthy. I avoid trans fat at all costs, and I avoid mechanically separated meat at all costs. I avoid certain products that I know contain GMOs but not always because the GMO thing is way overblown. I do check the ingredients labels too...for example when buying hot dogs I check to make sure it's made with all beef and doesn't say mechanically separated pork or something else disgusting on it. On most products I check to make sure there is no trans fat, and I check that the sodium levels per serving aren't too too high...because let's face it who actually eats the proper serving size printed ont he label?? Always way too little. Want to make sure 1 little serving isn't like 40% of my daily sodium intake and end up eating 2-3 servings...as just one meal. And I'm not fat, at all. I am 5'5" and only way 118lbs. I eat so much food. In fact one lady at work when we were all in the break room said to me "you should be so fat! you're always eating!" Made me giggle.
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:10 PM
 
Location: USA
2,431 posts, read 1,797,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottkuzminski View Post
mdcrim, did you ever notice that people like this seem to have some idea that they will never age or die if they "do the right things"?...
My mom has that mentality as well. And I've reminded her even the healthiest people can die suddenly or get cancer. It doesn't seem to sink in. She judges other people chooses to eat "less healthy" than her proclaiming if they would eat properly, then there would be no health issues and live a LONG life.

I believe many of those that happen to live LONG lives has to do with genetics
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:11 PM
 
898 posts, read 655,619 times
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Personally, I think the whole country could use a dose of Orthorexia Nervosa, then maybe we wouldn't be so jumbo sized.

Food companies make food with so much garbage in it, it's barely recognized as food. What happened to eating simple, fresh ingrediants? It's not hard to dodge high fructose corn syrup, clean eaters know that is in most processed foods. Clean eaters know the tricks the food companies pull and learn of the better things to eat.

It doesn't take an obsession of clean eating, so much that it is a new mental disorder. Just eat real food.
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