Now this Orthorexia: Obsessing Over Health Food is a new term for me.
What is Orthorexia?
Orthorexia nervosa is a very unhealthy obsession with eating the right healthy food. The term is derived from the Greek “ortho,” which means “right,” or “correct,” and is intended as a parallel with anorexia nervosa.
People with Orthorexia symptom may display any or all the symptoms as below:
- Extreme restriction on diet – a lot of food which they perceived to be unhealthy are cut out from their diet.
- Self diagnosed of allergies on certain food, without doctors diagnosis or medical examinations.
- Social isolation in family gatherings events or eating outside – they might even bring their own food.
- Extremely skinny figure.
- Overly focusing on nutrition, food and or new diet trends.
This new term was introduced by Dr. Steve Bratman, author of the book “Health Food Junkies.”
Dr. Steve Bratman spent years in the health food movement, but became one of its critics after he realized he had started to become orthorexic.
“Bratman spent years in the health food movement, but became one of its critics after he realized he had started to become orthorexic.”
“I began to hear stories of people who took this to such an extent that they harmed themselves, physically,” Bratman says.
One of the people Bratman heard from was Kate Finn, a former gymnast from Rhode Island. Finn developed orthorexia after she moved to California and began trying diets like raw foodism.
“She was so absorbed with cleansing her body of toxins … that was her lifelong goal,” said Erin Finn, Kate’s sister.
In the quest for purity, Finn eliminated more and more from her diet. Her appearance deteriorated. “The beautiful, vibrant Kate had really become someone that looked much older. People would stare,” Erin Finn said.
Finn wasn’t anorexic. Erin Finn said her sister knew she was underweight, but she insisted on eating only foods she considered “pure.”
Like Charlotte Anderson, Kate Finn kept a diary documenting her desperate descent.
One entry reads, “What do I do to gain weight? I’m afraid, confused.”
Finally, Finn agreed to let her family take her to a hospital.
“Our niece went to pick her up,” her sister said, “and found her.”
But it was too late. She was discovered dead, at age 37. As Finn’s family read through her diary, they learned that she had been listening to several health food gurus. Among the experts: Viktoras Kulvinskas.
Eating organic healthy food is good when we ate variety colors of vegetables and fruits. If you think bread contains preservatives, then switch to brown rice instead.
Read about Kate Finn story