Friday, February 13, 2015

A new eating disorder called Orthorexia nervosa! Is it real or imaginary?

What is an eating disorder? Is it a disease or frame of mind of a person? There does not appear to be any consensus regarding the definition, reasons or cure  for various eating disorders. But it is more or less agreed that it is a psychological disorder characterized by either insufficient eating or excessive food intake to the detriment of an individual's physical and mental health. Bulimia nervosa (over eating), Aneroxia nervosa (insufficient eating), binge eating disorder (uncontrolled eating), compulsive over eating (COE) (habitual over eating), Diabulomia (over use of insulin to cut down weight) Orthorexia nervosa (shunning food because of purity consideration), Drinkorexia nervosa (under eating to accommodate more alcoholic drinks), Pregorexia nervosa (under eating during pregnancy to prevent weight gain)etc though the first two are universally recognized. Orthorexia nevosa is not a new disorder as being made out in the though those supposed to be affected by it are increasing in number causing some concern. This is more an obsession with the "purity" of food and develops over a period of time through aversion to common foods thus causing insufficient ingestion of food which can cause serious consequences. Here is a take on this "tongue twisting" disorder.

Many people focus on eating healthy, but can too much of that become a problem?  New eating disorder, orthorexia, classifies obsession with quality of food. This new kind of "disordered eating" is an extreme or excessive pre-occupation with eating only foods deemed pure. The big difference between orthorexia and other eating disorders, like anorexia and bulimia, is that sufferers focus on the quality of food and not the quantity.Take a walk down the aisle of any grocery store these days, and it's hard to miss: organic, farm to table, gluten free. The push to make healthier food choices can be overwhelming, and in some cases, downright obsessive. "When it gets to the point where you're unable to make a choice, and you choose not to eat because of it or you obsess over your choices, that's when it becomes disordered eating," said Brook Albert, a registered dietitian.

One of the reasons for people to succumb to this disorder is the scare reports that spread regarding the dangers of modern processed foods as well as commercially produced farm products because of excessive use of chemicals like pesticides, food additives and irrational processing practices. The organic food movement that promotes foods grown or produced with natural fertilizers, non-use of chemical crop protectants and other practices not permitted under the relevant laws governing organic food production has spurred the spread of this disorder further Since organic food availability is restricted people who regularly consume these foods will naturally depend on them over a period of time and develop aversion to normal market foods. This is how symptoms of Orthorexia nevosa appear and with a little bit of will power and conscious determination this symptomatic and psychological behavior can be overcome.  


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