Ortorexia Or Healthy Food Addiction
Ortorexia is a different eating disorder characterized by addiction to healthy eating. Eating healthy is one of the sides to shape healthy lifestyle, on which more and more people are concentrated. However, for some people healthy eating can become an obsession, so people who are overly concerned with the quality of food may suffer from an eating disorder called nervous ortorexia. People who suffer from ortorexia are obsessed with eating organic food, the idea of eating healthy constantly influence their life. For example they can create their own system of nutritional values to be reported at while they eat. In most cases, the patients choose a restricted diet, after which they will be underweight.
Unlike patients with anorexia nervosa (eating disorder that a person wants to lose weight without ceasing), patients with ortorexia are trying to find a variant of optimal and healthy nutrition plan trough their diet.
Ortorexia nervosa is characterized by limiting food consumption only at pure, organic and healthy products. Usually, large sums of money are spent to purchase healthy food and often they plan their menus a day in advance. As the disorder progresses the allowed food list is getting smaller and this is why eating in the city becomes a major problem.
Patients with ortorexia feel isolated, may suffer from depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder and their diet may prevent them from participating in many social activities. Another feature is their perfectionism and the healthy eating rules that are internalized and processed in personal values. Although ortorexia nervosa is not recognized as a disease, specialists in nutritional disorders can provide the best treatment solutions. Antidepressants or anxiolytics may be prescribed.
Ortorexia nervosa symptoms include obsession with healthy eating, cachexia and even death by starvation. Usually, patients have specific views for each type of food, so canned food is considered dangerous, processed food is synthetic, while organic food is considered healthy.
People who suffer from this disease show a strong and uncontrollable desire for eating when they are nervous, excited, happy or guilty.
Ortorexia has a higher prevalence in men and especially those with a low education level. Ortorexia includes the following signs and symptoms:
- Waste of time (more than 3 hours per day) for planning the healthy food menu for the next day;
- Felling of guilt, fear or disgust when there is a deviation from the diet;
- Experiencing pleasure of eating when food in the menu is pure (bio);
- Sacrificing relationships and preferred activities to eating healthy;
- Obtaining self-esteem and sens of control when they respect their food plan;
- Disregard for those who do not eat the same;
- Social isolation in order not to deviate from the right nutrition plan;
In ortorexia nervosa, healthy eating turns into fanaticism. Quality of life, in general, is replaced with the so-called quality of food consumption. Although the person with ortorexia nervosa can loose too much weight, the main objective is compliance with diet, not weight loss.