According to World Health Organization (WHO) data; 200 million people in 1995, 300 million people in 2003, 500 million people in 2008 and 600 million people in 2014 faced the risk of obesity. Nowadays obesity and overweightness is increasing and invitating to different illnesses. Remember, fast weight gain, abdominal fatness and obesity are the precursors of epilepsy, diabetes, cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases.
Now after obesity, the new disease of the age “Orthorexia Nervosa” might be threatening your health. Orthorexia Nervosa means “healthy eating obsession”. Orthorexia; combination of Greek terms “Ortho” right, “orexis” appetite, means right appetite. However, when this right appetite reaches uncontrollable dimensions, it becomes a nervous disorder by adding the term “nervosa” and turns out to be a “healthy eating obsession”…
The incidence of the disease is increasing day by day, especially in women and teenage girls who suffer from weight problems!
I seem to hear you saying everybody has this obsession. You are right, but this case is the natural diet obsession that interferes in person’s life. Orthorexia Nervosa (ON) can only be identified if it is seen over a long period of time and has a negative effect on individual’s life (such as thinking about food to prevent life stress, thinking about eating for the most part of the day). Orthorectics eat healthy foods and stay away from what they see as unhealthy. They put the idea of ‘CONTINUOUS HEALTHY DIET’ at the center of their lives and live with this idea almost every day.
In the recent publications of the American Dietetic Association (ADA), orthorexia has been reported to become prevalent in 10 years. Similarly, according to the UK Eating Disorder Association (EDA), orthorexia will threaten our future. Because those who develop healthy food addiction are very selective beacause of their fear of finding harmful substances in their food. For orthorectics, it is very important that the food is pure, mere and unprocessed. For this reason, they try to eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables. After a while, only a few kinds of food remain behind. However, as this condition progresses, limited nutrient diversity results in the formation of the deficient food groups, leading to fast weight loss. This situation is quite unhealthy.
Besides, orthorectics reject the methods of cooking, which they think are wrong. For example; cooking in aluminum pots.
Let’s come to the part you are curious about; How to distinguish orthorectics?
1) Do you plan your meal a day ahead? If you spend more than 3 hours a day on your diet and food, think again.
2) Is it more important for you to eat healthy food than delicious? If you feel deeply guilty while failing aimed clean, healthy and natural food, then the ingridients of the meals stand at the forefront for you. The taste sense easily accepts delicious or simple meals. If you think about the ingridients of the meals you eat more than enjoying it, your existing taste sense and taste choice will be diminished.
3) Have you noticed impairment of your health when you eat sterile foods? Orthorectics attach great importance to hygiene in the preparation of foods. They are afraid to eat outside, and can not stop themselves from thinking about how they are prepared.
4) Do you think yesterday’s diet is insufficient today? They think that while increasing nutritional quality, the quality of life is reducing and they constantly change the way they eat.
5) Do you despise those who don’t eat healthy? They often criticize others’ eating habits and make suggestions.
6) Do you feel guilty when you stray from your targeted habit of clean, healthy and natural diet? They can feel happy and successful by eating properly; but turning away from their truths will make them feel guilty and regretful.
If you say “yes” to many of these questions, then you are showing the sign of the next generation eating disorder, orthorexia. If you do not want to be orthorectic you need to do;
- Adequate and balanced eating
- Do not force yourself, do not overdo your diet
- Avoid mono-diet
- Do not stay hungry for a long time by eating little and often
- Consult a dietetician
- Drinking enough water for body balance every day will keep you away from healthy eating obsessions.
Dietetician SİMGE ÇOLAKOĞLU