Focus on Healthy Eating Considered an Eating Disorder? Give Me A Break.

I scratched my head with this one.

An article I read today presented worry over what the writer felt a growing issue in the world:

Orthorexia nervosa.

Coined 20 years ago by Steven Bratman, M.D., it basically means being characterized by an extreme or excessive preoccupation with avoiding foods perceived to be unhealthy.

In other words you obsess with eating well.

Like with anything, we can go overboard with a habit or lifestyle choice. In fact if we look around us today, many lifestyle choices teeter on the brink of disorder.

Heck – how many times did you post on Facebook today?

Having awareness of when we go out of balance is tricky, since usually the issue resides in our blind spot. Generally we aren’t planning to obsess on something, but over time that thing takes over our life. Before we know everything goes out of control.

When it comes to eating disorders, we deeply understand the complex relationship we have with food. When food creeps into a disorder, the path that leads there often intersects with emotional issues needing attention. For some food becomes what they can control, so starving yourself or purging expresses that control.

The fact that someone might fret compulsively over health food and what they consume seems not overly surprising. Walk through Whole Foods and you might start feeling compulsive about all the swanky super food delights that will transform your life. The packaging is slick, promoting all the good things it has going for it. You pay a premium because you need it – so you feel the environment around you saying. I certainly know people who only shop at Whole Foods, convinced they can’t eat food from anywhere else.

(Ok. Working through my Whole Foods feelings here. Back to the point now.)

My issue with this article is the once again subtle jab at healthy eating. The tone of “watch out your passion for health food eating might turn into a disorder” makes me…scratch my head and go aarrrggg.

Frankly a little obsessing on better eating might serve us all in the end. Given the rise of obesity and the stunning amount of food available currently devoid of core nutrients, we might benefit from some fretting about what we put in our body. Looking at the choices in many supermarkets shows our fretting at an all time low.

Of course balance should win the day in the end. We look at the different food groups and what essentials we need every day. We take the time to understand our sensitivities and adjust so that we eat foods that support us on a daily basis. Makes good sense.

What doesn’t make good sense? Discouraging people from looking at these things. Swaying them from thinking through the products they purchase from the market. Make them worry that they think about the health levels of their food too much. Completely unhelpful. Let’s err on the side of more concern.

If you want to read the article you can check it out HERE.

From what I know of our readers, you’re a smart bunch. You read. Your study things for yourselves. As a result you become great advocates for sanity. We trust that you support those in your life and community to make great balanced choices for their wellness – as well as your own. Our plan is to give you as many tools possible to do that and to share what we find going on in the world.

Please leave us comments and thoughts.

What concerns you in this fast paced world of ours? What do you feel challenges your health on a daily basis?

We’d love to hear from you.

Until then, make good choices about what you eat. Even think it through. Maybe even stew about it. Suggest your local market carry locally grown food. Or healthier choices of a type of product. Not bad for a touch of preoccupation, especially if they make those changes.

In the end do the healthy food choices you make help you feel better? If so, pay attention to that. Your body and mind thank you for it.

To Your Health.


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