Want To Eat Healthily – You Must Be Mad!

I had to share this one with you; it made me laugh out loud. Have a read about this newly-recognised healthy eating mental disorder and the comments from the ANH:

“If you focus on eating healthy foods, you’re “mentally diseased” and probably need some sort of chemical treatment involving powerful psychotropic drugs.” (Natural News, June 2010)

“Anyone who’s read this and similar statements could be forgiven for thinking that it was some sort of late April fool’s joke, but no – ridiculous as it sounds, the desire to eat healthily is now considered to be an eating disorder.  Steven Bratman, a Colorado MD, coined the term Orthorexia nervosa (Latin term that basically translates to ‘correct eating disorder’) in 1997. The term describes an eating disorder, which is characterised by the obsession to eat healthy foods. We find the need at this point to stress that this is not a joke….there is even a dedicated website to alert you to the serious threat this disorder poses.

Surprisingly, EatingDisordersOnline.com says “Orthorexia nervosa is one of a little-known group of eating disorders”.  Could it be ‘little-known’ because most people that are conscious of what they are putting into their bodies, and why, are blissfully unaware that they could be suffering from this disorder because they feel so good? Perhaps they don’t consider that their avoidance of genetically modified, pesticide-laden or processed foods is considered ‘weird’, and therefore haven’t realised that they may need to see their doctor.

Last August an article appeared in the UK’s Guardian newspaper stating that, “Eating disorder charities were reporting a rise in the number of people suffering from a serious psychological condition characterised by an obsession with healthy eating.”  To further complicate matters it goes on to say that sufferers tend to be aged over 30, middle-class and well educated…

Here at the Alliance for Natural Health, we’re fairly sure we all ‘suffer’ from this disorder. Whilst a proper diagnosis would require a qualified professional, we still went in search of further symptoms. Apparently if you are watchful of the nutritional value of your meals, if your self-esteem gets a boost from eating healthily, or if you feel at peace with yourself and in total control when you eat healthily, chances are you are already a victim of Orthorexia nervosa.  If those symptoms sound familiar to you, perhaps you’ll feel reassured that there is now some treatment to help you. The treatment of choice, that doctors are prescribing to orthorexics, are antidepressants.

Unfortunately, this rapidly growing eating disorder is a tricky one to treat. Dr Steven Bratman writes that this is because orthorexics “will consider drugs such as antidepressants to be ‘impure’ and unnatural”. Not to mention the possibility of unsavory side effects. Perish the thought that they don’t want to put drugs into their bodies.”

Read the rest of this here at the ANH site.

Oh, hilarious. Am wiping my eyes as I type. I suppose there must be a tiny number of people who get obsessed about eating in a certain way (as anyone can get obsessed about anything – the thing they focus on is not the issue, but it does denote a sort of OCD I imagine), so I am giving Dr Bratman the benefit of the doubt. But the other side of me can’t help thinking it’s another made-up disorder just to sell drugs. It’s a bit like minor ADHD for which the number of diagnoses and prescriptions for Ritalin in my opinion has gone too far.

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