Orthorexia (or orthorexia nervosa) is an eating disorder produced by an obsession with healthy living. Discover its symptoms, treatment and more information about it.

We live in a society where we are obsessed with getting a perfect, sculpted body. This situation has produced what is known as orthorexia, an eating disorder coined by Steven Bratman in 2000 and which is defined as the pathological obsession to eat only healthy foods, has spread over the last decade.

This problem has been aggravated in many Western countries, especially in middle-aged women. In fact, it is estimated that around 28% of the world’s population already suffers from orthorexia.

What is orthorexia?

As we mentioned at the beginning, orthorexia is a food disorder in which the person suffers an obsession for food that tends to be considered healthy or healthy.

They tend to be very meticulous with the foods they eat, in such a way that they are able to analyze even each of the products they consume, as well as their ingredients.

They tend to do without industrial products and supposedly negative or harmful to health in their diets, such as pastries, soft drinks, precooked or canned foods, and only eat organic  or biologically produced food.

It could be said that their diet is based on an extremely dangerous monodies, since they do not tend to consume meat and fat either.

This means that orthorexic people suffer from mood swings, anemia, weakness, hair loss, anemia and even loss of menstruation (in the case of women).

Why does orthorexia appear?

Many experts in nutrition and sociology have indicated that the emergence of an eating disease such as orthorexia is the result of new trends in healthy living.

This is so due to the large number of advertisements that we usually see in the media, with the arrival on the markets of organic and prebiotic products, and those “without preservatives or colorants.”

The solution, therefore, is to eat everything but in a balanced, healthy and healthy way.  And it is that, in most cases, healthy life does not mean eating very little food and dispensing with some usual ones.

Main symptoms of orthorexia:

Having said that, if you have a young person in your charge and you see how their eating patterns have changed considerably over the last few weeks, it is very important that you pay attention to the following symptoms:

  • Feeling of guilt when taking any food, regardless of its composition or caloric intake.
  • Desire to choose and cook foods that are only healthy. Orthorexic enjoy the preparation more than the tasting of a dish itself.
  • Excessive planning when eating any meal. Many people who suffer from orthorexia can spend about 2-3 hours thinking about what to eat during the day.
  • Little socialization. This is because those close to you sometimes eat foods with saturated fat or added sugar. It is also because they do not want their disorder to be made public.

What treatment is there for orthorexia?

As with anorexia or bulimia, all eating disorders have a strong psychological component. For this reason, it is sometimes difficult to recognize at first sight if someone suffers from orthorexia. In one way or another, if you see how any of these symptoms are manifested, you should go to a psychologist specialized in this area together with a nutritionist who does a personalized follow-up.

Preventive education also plays a very important role here. Since they can remember, you have to tell your little ones that a healthy and balanced diet can also be synonymous with rich and exotic flavors for their palate.


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