Healthy life or orthorexia – healthy eating mental disorder?

posted in: Health | 2

Recent years, I think, there is no more popular and hot topic for discussion as about healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition. Internet, television,newspapers and magazines are full of different information of it. At first sight, it looks very good because what can be bad when people eat healthy food, quit alcohol and smoking, play sports. But all is not so simple, unfortunately. There is a lot of “experts” in this issue, they spread not entirely useful but sometimes even harmful information. The misconception of the healthy lifestyle can cause damage to the physical health and be the reason of mental problems. I think most of people have heard of diseases such as anorexia and bulimia. But nowadays we probably have one more disease which induced by healthy eating mental disorder.



Orthorexia diagnostic questionnaire:

  • Do you think about the proper nutrition more than 3 hours per a day?
  • Does the food composition data more important for you than taste of your meal?
  • Did you give up your favorite foods due to the fact they are not good for your health in your opinion?
  • Are your eating habits not allow you to eat in the restaurant and hinder communication with family and friends?
  • Do you feel superior to the people who eat not healthy food as you think?
  • Do you compose your own menu for a few days ahead and feel a guilty when break the diet?
  • Has your life gotten boring and emotionless when your diet became most healthy and correctly?
  • Do you feel total control of all your life and your self-rating is raising up when you stick to the proper nutrition?
  • Have you become more demanding of yourself?

If you have an affirmative answer to most of the questions, it is a reason to wonder about your lifestyle. Is it really healthy and correctly or you already suffer from orthorexia – healthy eating mental disorder?

Orthorexia nervosa Steven Bratman interpretation

The term “orthorexia nervosa” was first published in 1997 in Yoga Journal magazine in essay of MD Steven Bratman from Colorado . This eating disorder is characterized by an obsessive desire for a healthy lifestyle and nutrition, which leads to significant restrictions in the choice of food and social exclusion.



This means that a human stops to live a full life, including social, and more time spends by planning and eating his meals. Internal life of the person who ill with orthorexia reduced to constant attempts to resist the temptation, self-judgment for the failures and sense of superiority over others with wrong eating habits.

Orthorexia long term effects

Regarding physical health, the rejection of some groups of products, which according to opinion of the human with ortorexia are harmful, can lead to exhaustion and chronic diseases. In social sphere, the isolation can be the result of orthorexia long term effects, since the choice of friends and acquaintances often begin to be determined by similarity of practiced diet. The human inflicts damage on himself limiting his own opportunities, sometimes does not understand what is going on.

Of course it would be rightly to say that neither the World Health Organization no the American Psychiatric Association in “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders” do not classify orthorexia as a mental disorder. But it can be explained by lack of strict diagnostic criteria, the required number of articles in scientific journals, and also a long-term studies the health of people exposed to orthorexia long term effects.
Therefore you must carefully study information before adhere to those or other rules of “correct eating habits” and “proper nutrition”. Let’s use common sense and live a full life.

2 Responses

  1. Christy B

    A healthy lifestyle is a must! But sadly so many of us find it hard to achieve.. thanks for the well-researched insights you provide here in this post.

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