While getting in my cardio, I was reading an article in the latest edition of “Women’s Health” magazine. Normally, I read short blurbs that are studies on nutrition, exercise, supplements, the normal “health” stuff. I was reading a piece titled “The scary rise in Adult Eating Disorders.” This interested me for the fact that I have never come close to having an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia, yet I have come across clients with such issues.
I was half way into the story when I came to a side note in the article called “The new dis Orders”. It involves a new catagory along side of anorexia and bulimia. According to the magazine it is described as a disorder that “applies to patients who don’t meet the exact criteria for anorexia or bulimia but still have ber trouble relationships with food or distorted body images.” I won’t lie, this intrigued me, just to see what their clarification is of this new “disorder.” That’s when I read about “The New Dis-Order: Orthorexia.” Here’s is description:
“A fixation with healthy or righteous eating. Orthoexics often eat only organic foods, eliminate entire food groups, or refuse to eat anything that isn’t “pure” in quality… Unlike anorexics, they don’t necessarily think they’re fat or strive to be thin; some are motivated by a fear of bad health, a fixation with complete control, or the desire to improve their own self-esteem. Ironicially, severe orthorexia can lead to malnourishment” (clinicial psychologist Sari Shepphird, Ph.D.).
Needless to say, my heart rate was racing on the eliptical.
SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT….
So this doctor is stating that a person who chooses to eat organic or “pure” fruits and vegetables, and grass fed meats, etc. AND they avoid processed foods or maybe a food catagory like dairy, that they now are “clinically” diagnosed with an eating disorder? SERIOUSLY???
I read this article again. And then I had another trainer read it. And then I had a client read it. Both of them agreed with me. In fact, the trainer responded with “Are they trying to make fat people feel better?”
I understand the real “eating disorders”. When people don’t want to eat, or they eat and then throw it all up. But when they classify someone who chooses to EAT and EAT NUTRIOUSLY, with a disorder, I find it offensive. We are in an obese epedemic in the US. Two-thirds of the country is overweight, soon to be obese. However this article made it sound like those who do choose to make healthy food choices and remove processed foods are wrong.
As most of you know, I started a Paleo diet a few weeks ago. It eliminates food catagories, grains and dairy. As I have posted in my blog, I have intolerances to these. Since eliminating them and eating organic/natural foods, I feel so much better. I don’t have the allergy reactions that I did when I consumed these foods. Many people I know who are doing the diet as well, feel just as good. Does that mean we have a disorder? Ridiculous.
My advice to those who are “dis-orderly” with Orthorexia, as long as you are in your proper caloric range, and protein/carb/fat ratio, keep eating the way that makes you feel good.
I would love to hear other thoughts and opinions on this topic. If anyone wants to read the entire article, it’s in the April 2012 edition of Women’s Health Magazine.
Emerge Fitness Training