I am confused about orthorexia... Watch

lobster1
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Apparently, orthorexia nervosa is an obsession with healthy eating. Anorexia nervosa (something which I use to suffer with) is an eating disorder generally associated with emaciation and uncontrollable compulsion to lose weight. I had to delete Instagram because I was so affected by people's posts of diets, lifestyles, fitness, bodies, health, health and more health. It made me realise the number of people (myself included) who base so much of their life on staying healthy. Not just 'eat a few greens a day' healthy, but calorie-counting, protein shake-drinking, hourly-weighing, gym-obsessing, diet-frenzying healthy. And these are people who, supposedly, don't have eating disorders…?

I have a very skewed view on 'health' since my ED. I was aware I had a different way of seeing food than people who weren't suffering. But now I see all these online fitness gurus, celebrities, even my friends who have to have ½ an avocado on wholemeal toast with their detoxing lemon water every morning, and I am just wondering if anyone else feels our entire culture is a little bit orthorexic?
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HoldThisL
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sure it's annoying when one of them tries convince you of their (sometimes misbegotten) viewpoint but it doesn't bother me

except when my mum does it that bothers me because she won't leave me alone with her fake science
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lobster1
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so do you think it's an issue which just hasn't been classified as something worth dealing with?
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HoldThisL
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(Original post by lobster1)
so do you think it's an issue which just hasn't been classified as something worth dealing with?
i think it depends on the extent to which you care
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lobster1
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it's very hard to get a measured perspective on it since I have been so affected by my eating disorder. aren't societal pressures on appearance and health much more prevalent now than ever before?
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cfhurley
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First of all, a massive well done on getting through your eating disorder and taking positive steps to avoid triggers.

I think "a bit orthorexic" isn't the correct way to describe this phenomenon, in the same way that we wouldn't call the obsession with thinness seen in the nineties 'a bit anorexic'. Orthorexia is an obsession with healthy eating that transcends choice. It's usually very restrictive, but the end focus is on the supposed health benefits that the lifestyle brings rather than weight. Sufferers often spend a lot of time researching diets and theories of eating, then combine them with others and adjust them to their own view. While technically not recognised as a specific eating disorder, it does come under the catch-all term of disordered eating and is a serious condition.

In relation to modern culture, I think there are social media celebrities who are suffering from orthorexia and selling it as wellness. In fact, some have come out about their condition and admitted that their previous few years of restrictive eating and obsessive exercise were symptoms of sickness, not the wellness.

But there are plenty of people who just live extremely healthy lives without it being an eating disorder. One example I read in a medical journal on this topic is raw food veganism. Followers of this diet believe that cooking food destroys nutrients and so they avoid it as much as possible. They'rechoosing to follow a very strict regime and therein lies the difference - choice.

To answer your question, I think wellness is in fashion at the moment, not orthorexia.
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PollyParrot23
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People have already made a lot of good points but I would also add the view that what people show on social media isn't always the truth. People who want to be perceived as having these 'perfect', healthy diets don't necessarily show you everything they eat or do. Portray themselves as an ideal so people will aspire to be like them and keep following them. Like so much of social media, it's all the (often edited) highlights.

Orthorexia is a relatively new term still so I'm not totally sure what classifies as orthorexia as there is a huge scale of eating healthily from eliminating fizzy drinks and fast food right up to raw veganism and everything in between. My biggest issue with the 'healthy eating' movement is how people use gluten or dairy free to equal a healthy product when unless someone has an intolerance or sensitivity to those foods, eliminating them will not make them healthier! (trying not to rant, going off topic, sorry).

But like someone else compared the current movement to 90s thinness, women in the nineties possibly thought they 'should' to be thin, or that thin was the most attractive look. But for most it wasn't an unhealthy obsession that caused them to be anorexic or develop other eating disorders. Like currently I think many people might think 'ooh I need to eat healthier and do detoxes' etc, but for most it's something they try and either don't stick with or they find a balanced way of eating all sorts of foods.
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