Eat healthy It is always the best choice for health. A balanced diet, with abundant portions of fruits and vegetables and a low proportion of fat, sugar and ultra-processed food, is one of the best tools for avoid diseases and get to longevity.
However, the healthy path also attracts fans, people who are obsessed with “clean food”, to the point of provoking them trouble and/or concern that they ingest any product that does not meet their strict requirements. Those people are suffering orthorexiabehavior of strict diet which causes the opposite effect: a deterioration clinically significant health parameters.
The National Eating Disorders Association of the USA points out that the term orthorexia Refers to obsession with healthy eating. Although awareness and care about the nutritional quality of the food consumed is not a problem in itself, people with orthorexia become so obsessed with the so-called healthy diet what harm one’s own well-being.
The term comes from the Greek words orthos (correct) and orexia (food), and was coined by American physician Steven Bratman in 1997. Since orthorexia is not yet officially classified as a medical condition in many countries, it has not been studied as much as other eating disorders. However, several scientific studies show between 1% and 7% of the population suffers from orthorexia and the number is increasing.
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Gradually, since the 1980s, gyms they began to become centers of a healthy life, and at the same time temples of achieving good looks and a sculpted physique. Aerobic gymnastics boom, popularized by Jane Fondait changed the relationship with training and physical activity for those who were not regular athletes or amateur athletes.
“Exercise was sold as a way to attract a partner, to be happier and something that only the rich could subscribe to,” he said. Aleksandra Weissnerowner and head coach of Brunch Running, a social community of runners, American outlet Neo.Life.
In the 1990s, elliptical machines, spinning machines and Zumba classes appeared. The 2000s opened the door to the merger between physical activity and wellnesswith studies yoga Mr pilates as a pillar to look good thanks to conscious training. In this way, since 2010, intense exercise has become popular in the heat functional trainingthe hitlas Russian weights and CrossFit.
In this spiral of ever-increasing physical demands, many people have fallen into a trap perfect bodyand the goal of being fit and healthy has become an obsession that starts with breakfast and ends with long hours of exercise in the gym to shed fat and achieve a strong, toned, “almost lean” body.
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In this endless and obsessive search for a healthy body, orthorexia becomes worse with intensive trainings and strenuous, which instead of improving health causes the opposite effect, damage to the overall health of those who suffer from it.
According to Association for the fight against bulimia and anorexia (Aluba) usually patients with orthorexia develop their own eating rulesand experience behaviors similar to those of individuals with anorexia and/or bulimia, with the exception that their concern is focused on food quality, and the others look at the quantity and calories. Many of them suffer from “doubts” about their own rules, which is painful and causes anxiety at mealtime.
It is clear that there is not an inexorable bond between more hours and intensity of training and increasingly frequent cases of orthorexia, but obsession with perfect bodies and the magical promises of many influential persons in social networks do not improve the scenario.
– Forced checking of ingredient lists and food labels
– Eliminate an increasing number of food groups (all sugars, all carbohydrates, all dairy products, all meat, all animal products)
– Take just one a narrower group of foods that are considered healthy or clean
– An unusual interest in whether what others eat is healthy or not
– Spend several hours a day thinking about what food will be served at the next social or family gathering
– Show high levels trouble when “safe” or healthy food is not available
– obsessive tracking accounts for food and a healthy lifestyle on social networks
As in anorexiaorthorexia implies restriction the amount and variety of food eaten, so that it is one of its first consequences malnutrition. Therefore, the two disorders share many of the same physical consequences.
“There are currently no clinical treatments developed specifically for orthorexia, but many experts do Eating disorders treat orthorexia as different types of anorexia and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder“, points to National Eating Disorders Association of the USA.
Therefore, treatment usually includes psychotherapy for increase the variety of food ingestion and exposure to frightening or challenging foods anxietyas well as regaining lost body weight, if necessary.