Today on the show you learned about orthorexia — or taking healthy eating to an unhealthy extreme. Healthy eating is very important for one’s body image and emotional well-being, but any obsession with food — whether overly-consuming it, completely avoiding it or being choosy to the point that it affects your mental and emotional state — is a sign that expert help may be beneficial.
Although not officially recognized as a disorder, according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) orthorexia has become a way for people to escape from poor health. It can also satisfy the compulsion to have complete control over everything, including food. Some people obsess over food to escape from fears, to get thin, to improve their self-esteem or to search for spirituality and identity through food.
NEDA lists the following questions to help you evaluate how healthy your relationship is with food:
The more questions you answer with “yes,” the more likely that you may experiencing orthorexia.
If you or anyone you know may be struggling with orthorexia, you can seek help at the national toll-free helpline for eating disorders: 1-800-931-2237.
You may also choose to talk to your parents and health care provider to evaluate your condition.