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Help! I have an eating disorder!

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Eat well? Must be a 'disorder'

 

Julie Deardorff

Chicago Tribune

Apr. 22, 2008 12:00 AM

Orthorexia supposedly is an emerging eating disorder marked by extreme devotion to healthful foods.

 

People suffering from the addiction - usually raw foodists, vegetarians and vegans - obsessively check labels, avoid junk food, plan menus and often eat a healthful diet so they can feel "pure." Some even make fun of McDonald's customers.

 

It gets worse. Although an anorexic tries to severely limit calories, an orthorexic might shun foods with artificial ingredients, trans fats or high-fructose corn syrup. Orthorexics also are generally unconcerned about their weight and do not feel fat. Their diet may make them feel virtuous. advertisement34636434396263643437353439333430?_RM_EMPTY_clear.gif

 

Treatment is tricky, however, because orthorexics "will consider drugs such as antidepressants to be 'impure' and unnatural," wrote Dr. Steven Bratman, who is credited with coining the term in the 1990s.

 

"The same goes for weight-gain aids such as Ensure, because they contain verboten substances such as sugar, artificial colors and artificial flavors," Bratman wrote in Health Food Junkies (Broadway, $22).

 

This is a problem?

 

Frankly, most of us could learn a thing or two from orthorexics, who used to be dismissed as "health-food nuts" but now apparently need to be rehabilitated into society.

 

Today's "normal" diet consists primarily of highly processed, non-nutritive, industrially produced food. That's because the best decisions for food conglomerates often are the worst ones for our health.

 

Nourishing yourself healthfully, then, is not the default; it's the exception. And it often requires a conscientious approach that, in a culture where Diet Coke is considered a health food, might be called "extreme."

 

Orthorexics, for example, "tend to dwell on upcoming menus," Bratman wrote. "If you get a thrill of pleasure from contemplating a healthy menu the day after tomorrow, something is wrong with your focus."

 

Actually, planning meals is one of the skills a person needs to maintain a healthy body weight. The alternative - eating at restaurants - is a sure way to gain weight because "every time we eat out the calories are far higher than we intuitively imagine," said Yoni Freedhoff, medical director of the Bariatric Medical Institute in Ottawa.

 

Although eating at home rather than in a restaurant can be better for your health, the rigid orthorexic diet leads to social isolation, Bratman warned.

 

"A common strategy is to bring your own food in separate containers and chew it slowly, looking virtuous or soulful while everyone else gulps down garbage," Bratman wrote in a 10-question orthorexia quiz.

 

But perhaps it's the restaurants that need to change by putting nutritional information on menus, educating the wait staff and using more locally grown or organic ingredients. This wouldn't just help so-called orthorexics. Millions of people with food allergies and other dietary restrictions have to avoid restaurants to stay healthy.

 

It's really OK to like green beans better than french fries, to avoid chemical-laden drinks such as Ensure (which contains more than 40 artificial ingredients) and to wonder why ketchup and peanut butter have added high-fructose corn syrup. As a friend who borders on "orthorexia" told me, "It's normal society that is off-target, not I."


VANESSA

274/248.5/under 150

Size 26/20/8ish

1/4/08: -10

2/1/08: -8.5

3/7/08: -0

4/4/08: -4.5

5/2/08: -4

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Very interesting Cheetara, thanks for sharing! Who knew trying to be eat healthy can be observed by others as actually unhealthy.

 

Teri


Proud Mom to Mckenzie born July 26/06

Now ready to shed these baby pounds!

Joined WW April 15, 2008

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This quiz is from Dr Bratman's book Health Food Junkies. The 10 questions will help you determine if you're obsessed with health foods.

 

Score 1 point for each "yes".

 

1. Do you spend more than 3 hours a day thinking about healthy food? (For 4 hours, give yourself 2 points). YES.

 

2. Do you plan tomorrow's food today? YES, SOMETIMES.

 

3. Do you care more about the virtue of what you eat than the pleasure you receive from eating it? YES, sometimes.

 

4. Have you found that as the quality of your diet has increased, the quality of your life has correspondingly diminished? NO.

 

5. Do you keep getting stricter with yourself? NO.

 

6. Do you sacrifice experiences you once enjoyed to eat the food you believe is right? YES, SOMETIMES.

 

7. Do you feel an increased sense of self-esteem when you are eating healthy food? YES. Do you look down on others who do not? YES, sometimes when they are feeding their children crap.

 

8. Do you feel guilt or self-loathing when you stray from your diet? YES.

 

9. Does your diet socially isolate you from others? YES, SOMETIMES.

 

10. When you are eating the way you are supposed to, do you feel a peaceful sense of total control? YES.

 

If you answered yes to two or three questions, Dr Bratman says you have at least a touch of orthorexia nervosa or health food obsession. If you have a score of four or more, you may be struggling with a healthy eating disorder.


VANESSA

274/248.5/under 150

Size 26/20/8ish

1/4/08: -10

2/1/08: -8.5

3/7/08: -0

4/4/08: -4.5

5/2/08: -4

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Wow! This article was very interesting. It would probably be a good thing to have just a touch of this eating disorder.....which most corebies probably do.

But I do know someone who takes it to the extreme. I'd be willing to bet she'd answer yes to every question on the quiz.

She is actually quite annoying to be around. She will not eat anything at a party except raw veggies (no dip, of course)--which is fine- but the annoying part is the "lectures" she gives everyone, and the looks of disgust when offered a piece of cake or something.


SW and HW-198

CW-192.5

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

 

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