The Good Food/Bad Food Game: Is it Healthy Eating or "Orthorexia"?

2SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/16/2008 11:30 AM   :  74 comments

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Whenever you decide to change your eating habits, the issue of “good foods” versus “bad foods” is likely to come up. Whether you’re counting calories for weight loss and trying to figure out which foods offer the best nutrients per calorie deal, or trying to limit foods that could increase your risks for some health problems, or shifting to a vegetarian, vegan, or local foods diet for ethical or social reasons, you’re probably going to end up with your own personal list of foods you should eat and foods you shouldn't.

But how far down this road can you go before you start running into potential problems? For a lot of nutrition and weight management experts, the answer is “not very far.” Obviously, people with certain medical conditions will need to avoid certain foods, but otherwise, they say, categorizing foods as "good" or "bad" can create some serious problems.

In fact, some psychologists and health professionals who work with people who have eating disorders have been lobbying for a while now to add a new disorder to the list: the problem of taking the idea of eating "right" too far. This new diagnosis would be called orthorexia nervosa.


The term orthorexia originated with Steven Bratman, MD, a specialist in alternative medicine. He described orthorexia as an obsession with healthy eating, with the emphasis on the obsessive nature of this concern. Obviously, a serious commitment to eating healthy is not orthorexia. Neither is a reasonable concern about the social, moral, or political implications of the food choices you make, like that seen in people who choose vegan or vegetarian diets for ethical reasons, or favor foods that are locally produced using sustainable methods. Orthorexia would be diagnosed only when concerns about eating "right" dominate a person to such an extent that he or she can't maintain a nutritionally sound diet, or lets other areas of life suffer in ways that cause practical problems.

Personally, I’m not so sure it’s a good idea to add “orthorexia nervosa” to the list of formal eating disorders. I think there would be an awful lot of potential for wrongly applying this label to someone who has an uncommonly strict or unconventional diet that is not necessarily unhealthy or problematic--just one that strikes the person making the diagnosis as too extreme. I've lived in several different parts of the USA, from the South, where sausage gravy and biscuits with fried potatoes was the breakfast of champions, to the wilds of Northern California, where even the big chain groceries sell more stevia than sugar, and the herbal supplements section is bigger than the local drugstore. Trying to come up with one idea of what's healthy eating and what's orthorexic that would fly in all these different "food cultures" could get pretty challenging, to say the least.

But maybe orthorexia could still be a good concept for us to use ourselves, if we can use it to understand the roots of somewhat less extreme and more common problems. For example, what about problems like:

  • setting out to lose weight and thinking of food–or some particular food–as “the enemy.” Before long, you find yourself not eating enough to stay healthy, because you’ve put so many foods on your “bad” list (too much fat, too many carbs, not natural, etc) that your anxiety about not eating right drowns out your natural hunger signals and makes it hard to eat enough of anything.

  • getting yourself into a cycle of restricting certain “bad” foods until you feel so deprived or resentful that you seriously binge on that same food.

  • feeling guilty or ashamed because you ate something on your list of bad foods, and being unable to stop those feelings from escalating into a "mind storm" of getting down on yourself, feeling hopeless, and maybe even giving up on your efforts to eat healthy for the rest of the day (or longer).

  • getting so caught up in rigidly sticking to your eating rules that it gets in the way of your social life, creating lots of tension and conflict between you and family, friends, or co-workers.

  • appointing yourself as the local “food police” and telling other people what they should be eating, whether they want your opinion or not.

    What do you think? Do you find yourself running into these problems (or others) because you think of different foods as good or bad, or do you find thinking that way helpful? Are some foods objectively bad, or is anything OK as long as you don't go overboard? Is it possible to lose weight and eat healthy without having at least some "rules" or ideas about what's good and bad to eat? What about approaches like intuitive eating or simple moderation?



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    Comments

    • 74
      Sometimes when I say that I don't want to eat something, my boyfriend takes it as a judgement of what he is eating. I try not to judge and its weird when there's the perception that I am judging. - 6/8/2011   2:37:23 PM
    • 73
      I sounds like me.... I always judge my friends about their food, I make coments but in a friendly way.. I always try to make them eat rigth.. also with my family, When I cook for my mom i try not to use butter, and I give her things she doesn´t like. I´m so obssesed with food that I track my food before I eat it. My mom buy to many bananas always, we all like it in my home, but when I eat one of them i feel so guilty. I think I have a bad relationship with food, I wish I could change that, I wish it could be easier. :( (sorry for my english) - 5/7/2011   6:48:57 PM
    • WHEELS54
      72
      We have a food nazi in our office. She is as much fun as a migraine! I avoid this person. I believe in the 80-20 rule. 80% healthy; 20% alcohol, fried things and desserts! Life is too short not to be happy. Exercise makes me happy too. - 8/3/2010   12:44:29 PM
    • 71
      ANYTHING can be taken to extreme and become and "obsession" or "illness". Tracking food, exercising, WORK, laziness, drugs, alcohol, relationships, etc. As quite a few folks have said, and is stated in the article..MODERATION is the key. There are some who have "those foods" they will NEVER eat or be able to eat in moderation--it may be an addiction like alcohol or drugs to the addict...if that is the case, then they should steer clear of those foods. For most of the population, including me, it is not necessarily what I eat, or even how much--but, my fitness level was SO low that nearly everything I ate was stored because of my lack of exercise. As we become a less, and less active society (driving everywhere, using elevators/escalators, hiring lawn services, etc.)...we will continue to have a problem with obesity and health issues pertaining to poor eating and fitness habits.
      I don't consider myself "obsessive" with my eating/tracking...but, I could see how it could get out of control...and, I don't consider any foods "off limits", but there are those I struggle with "having just one" and I steer clear of those as much as I can!
      Here's to us all...praying/hoping we can make a better way... - 7/19/2010   1:30:08 PM
    • GRANDMO1
      70
      I do not think that adding another diagnosis will help anyone's cause to promote healthy eating. Moderation is the way I look at and practice eating. - 11/12/2009   8:14:44 AM
    • 69
      I think that inventing a new diagnosis is the wrong idea. If someone has disordered eating and beliefs that are causing significant health problems, they would be classified by the DSM-IV-TR as having an eating disorder NOS (not otherwise specified). Leaving this catch-all category available for those who do not fit into the categories of anorexia of bulimia means that those who suffer from this disorder can be treated, but it doesn't pose the risk of over diagnosing. Unfortunately, the society that most people live in is based on convenience and instant gratification and people who develop a strict (but healthy) lifestyle may be stigmatized with this label of “orthorexia nervosa” rather than be seen as the role model that they are. - 12/19/2008   12:24:25 AM
    • STRAWBERRY*MOON
      68
      I never demonize any food--just chemicals and additives. Most of my adult life, I've eaten a healthful diet. What brought me to Spark was to learn not to eat too much of it and to exercise regularly. I have quite a bit of weight to lose, but I build treats into my diet--just not as often and in reduced portions. I don't like fast food, but if I did, I would have it--maybe only once a month, but I'd have it. For me, when I have my treats, it's important that they be of the highest quality, such as premium dark chocolate. - 11/23/2008   12:23:35 PM
    • 67
      I think that "obsession" is the key here. If your food phobias are interfering with normal life, then it's a problem. - 10/30/2008   9:49:57 PM
    • 66
      I can see where it could be a problem if you only focused on good food/bad food that you may not get a good balance of healthy nutrition. One good thing (among many), that I love about the nutritional tracker is that I can look and see what I need to stay within my range for the day. You can add nutrients that you want to track, for instance, to make sure you are not getting too much sodium or if you are low in iron etc. When I first started tracking and eating healthy - I found that I could not eat enough calories for the day but I felt satisfied because I was eating so many fresh fruits/veggies. So I increased my eating for the day to bring my intake up so I could burn more calories and my body would not store it up. Eating more actually helped me to lose more weight. I added more good fat products and healthy carbs and fiber which I found was beneficial to losing weight. I guess we hear it all the time - portion control and a good BALANCED variety is the key - this is true. - 10/2/2008   12:12:48 PM
    • 65
      The fact that I have cut out fatty fried foods, tons of butter on everything, sugary foods, very high calorie or carb foods, and have educated myself on portion sizes, recommended values of fiber, protein, vitamins, etc. accounts for the weight loss that I have had. Also, being that it is a known fact that saturated fats cause clogged arteries, excess carbs (sugars) causes diabetes, among other "food-caused" disorders, I can honestly say that I DO see some foods as being "bad" and others "good." I have never felt better than when I started shunning some of these so called "bad" foods. I'm not saying that a person SHOULDN'T have ANY of these foods, but for some of us, it is a struggle not eating too much of them. So, even though I say I don't eat "bad" foods, what I mean, is that they are on a mental list of foods that I have had trouble controlling my intake of in the past. I agree that a person can take this concept to extremes, but I see these traits as fitting in with OCD or which can be included into the Anorexia/Bulimic diagnoses. As a society, we seem to be obsessed with categorizing every human trait....look at ADD...where does the diagnosis cross the line? - 9/26/2008   1:53:30 PM
    • 64
      Ya, I also saw the story on 20/20 about this orthorexia nervosa. In the 20/20 segment, a few people who have orthorexia were interviewed. One guy who was in his late 20's or early 30's was just skin and bones and looked like many who have anorexia or bulimia. To me, that confirmed that this is actually a very, very serious eating disorder...as opposed to just being careful and aware about what you eat. Even though he was aware that he was extremely underweight, he still couldn't force himself to eat what he called "dead food," such as processed foods and even cooked vegetables. (Apparently, thinking of foods as being 'dead' is a common trait among orthorexics and most orthorexics only eat raw or fresh foods.) I disagree with the author of this article...Orthorexia should be considered a food disorder just as any other food disorder. Orthorexia is obviously more than just eating healthy...just as anorexia and bulimia, there are strong psychological factors behind the condition. - 9/25/2008   2:31:48 PM
    • 63
      Ohhhh...that last bullet point could be my husband. Of course, he only seems to act like that to me. I think his co-workers would have clobbered him by now if he tried to tell them what to eat! LOL - 9/23/2008   11:37:43 PM
    • 62
      I don't know... this one seems kind of tricky. There are food cultures all around us, from our own personal families, to our state, or country. Who would determine what is normal and what is not?
      I'm no psych expert, but perhaps if a person is obsessing over it, it could be classified as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and if it has gotten to the point where the eating is disordered, then that could be an Eating Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (ED-NOS).
      Personally, I eat vegan and I can see how that could be taken to an extreme by some people out there. I also don't eat refined/processed sugar, caffeine, white flour, white rice, anything carbonated, anything fried, or trans-fats. But I do it because I want a healthy body that works well and lasts me another century, not because I feel like I HAVE to, or because I want to be model thin.
      Like others have said, "Everything in moderation". - 9/23/2008   9:34:13 PM
    • 61
      I saw a piece on 20/20 about this a couple of weeks ago. I had never heard of it before. It certainly seems to be a disorder, but like one commenter mentioned it does have traits of OCD. The link to the 20/20 piece: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Stosse
      l/story?id=5735592&page=1
      - 9/23/2008   6:22:16 PM
    • 60
      I am very interested in this! I think my father-in-law suffers from it. I used to think there was something wrong with him, I knew it wasn't anorexia - I suffered from that for years - but it was something. He is obsessed with food to the point it makes it unenjoyable to have dinner with him because he constantly talks about how unhealthy our food is. He constantly gives us books about how to eat better, and he is constantly changing his mind about certain foods. Very frustrating! It wasn't so bad for him physically at first, but now I think his body will consume itself as if he were an anorexic. He has lost so much weight and looks unhealthy. He does this all because he wants to live longer, but the unhealthy obsession will end up killing him earlier. His daughter battled bulemia throughout highschool, I believe it was because of his obsessions with nutrition and good foods/bad foods. It would be nice if they would go mainstream with this and get him off of our case! - 9/23/2008   5:37:14 PM
    • 59
      Great article - and here's another to give us hope that "food as enemy" is a concept of the past!
      link> http://www.nytimes.co
      m/2008/09/17/dining/17diet.html?_r=
      1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin /link
      > - 9/23/2008   3:00:52 PM
    • 58
      I eat everything I like, for me there are no bad food. But I do not eat French fries unless I make them myself, the same goes for most other types of fast food mainly because there are too little veggies and too much fat for my taste. That does not mean that never eat it only that when I have the chose I make it myself. - 9/23/2008   2:49:18 PM
    • MCDANI73
      57
      This article was great in that it has sparked this conversation.

      I, in the past, have been an all or nothing type of gal. When I joined Weight Watchers, I fit the profile of being rigid but loosing the weight. Then I lost the weight and did not have the tools to maintain.

      My biggest fear is becoming too thin (yes, too thin, and this is from an overweight person!). My mother was and is an anorexic - constantly monitoring, purging and limiting her food. This the last thing I want to become. Intellectually, I know there is a difference between being "healthy/disciplined" and a disordered eater. I intellectually know this and part of my journey is to really take this in. Regardless of whether a new disorder gets "named", I think a challenge for many is being OK with the idea of moderation. Thanks. - 9/23/2008   2:42:01 PM
    • 56
      I think this si the silliest concept I have heard of in a long time! Wouldn't all of the problems you described fit under the heading of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

      It is difficult enough to turn my life around from being 330 lbs above my target weight, without some academic coming up with the concept that it is possible to take it too far!!!

      Sparkpeople has taught me how to lose weight in a healthy way., and I have lost over 100 lbs so far - but without that knowledge and support I might have made (and have made in the past ) some of the blunders described as a "disorder" in this article. In my case, it was simply rigid thinking that came from desperation!

      I think the academic who came up with this trm ought to have to lose a few hundred pounds himself, before he makes some of the pitfalls along the way into "disorders"

      - 9/23/2008   2:37:27 PM
    • 55
      orthorexia nervosa seems like a form of obsessive compulsive disorder? - 9/23/2008   1:01:04 PM
    • 54
      Because I have food allergies, eating is often "not fun" for me.
      I think that restricting your diet to the point that eating causes anxiety is not generally healthy... However, eating fewer calories than you burn in a day is also not generally healthy. Sometimes the state of our health requires us to develop habits that are outside of the norm,if only for a time.
      Titles like "orthorexia nervosa" hold the potential to be beneficial, for those who really are harming themselves. But labelling this attitude about food as "bad" is potentially dangerous and destructive for those whose health requires vigilance! - 9/23/2008   12:54:08 PM
    • 53
      Interesting article. I have no real opinion about foods. I think it depends on how much of it you eat. - 9/23/2008   12:01:49 PM
    • 52
      It is interesting that people are saying "good" and "bad" are moral terms. Gluttony made the list of sins in the middle ages.
      But it was not food, or foods, but the unrestrained consumption of food that was seen as morally suspect.
      Our society is suspect of moral judgments, because we value being pluralistic, but at the same time we make judgments all the time as individuals. I like to think of certain foods as useful or not useful to meeting my goals. White bread is not useful for attaining my health goals. Broccoli is very useful. Too much of any food is bad. - 9/21/2008   10:19:44 AM
    • JOISIEE
      51
      I posted this on a forum, but here it is again. I have lost 17 pounds in the past month, so it seems to be working.

      "Bad" and "good" are moral judgements and we should not apply them to food.

      Murder is "bad." Abuse is "bad". Stealing, lying, and cheating are generally bad. Actions performed with the intent to harm others, or with a total lack of concern for the harm they will cause to others are "bad".

      Unrestrained indulgence in one's favorite foods may be unhealthy if one prefers fatty, salty, sweet, unhealthy foods, but as it is not intended to hurt others, it cannot be "bad." Thinking of it as such can even undermine one's efforts to pursue a healthy lifestyle by undermining one's self esteem. Certainly, if one does "bad" things, one must be a "bad" person who does not deserve to be healthy and happy.

      Indulging in moderation, on the other hand, even in unhealthy foods like chocolate, chips, and fried and salty treats, can actually improve one's chances of success if the calories are planned into a properly balanced, nutritious diet.

      Two squares of chocolate (16 grams) has less than 100 calories, so does seven Original Pringles chips, and indulging several days a week in treats like these can prevent one from eating the whole bag of sweets or the whole tube of chips when a craving strikes.

      I have an "Indulgence" planned into my nutrition tracker right along with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and my healthy snacks. I log something in it every day, be it chocolate, chips, guacamole, or something greasy and fried.

      And I don't feel "bad" about it, because I seldom go over my calories.
      - 9/20/2008   2:01:52 PM
    • FLYBABYC
      50
      I think the new diagnosis thing is a TERRIBLE idea, for reasons already mentioned in the blog. Thanks for sharing! - 9/20/2008   1:18:32 PM
    • PUDGYTHEBEAVER
      49
      Let me clarify my last statement: I am coming to terms with myself AS I come to terms with food. - 9/19/2008   4:55:53 PM
    • PUDGYTHEBEAVER
      48
      Powerful advice. I checked out the intuitive eating website and it makes so much more sense to me to be kind to ourselves. It is sort of a healing process. Alot of it is common sense, but common sense isn't so common anymore. As a society we have developed a dysfunctional relationship with food. Media and mass marketing blare at us "Stuff Yourself at our Mega Size Drive Thru" and Hollywood cultivates unrealistic expectations of everyone being a perfect size 0.
      I started my journey with Spark a month ago. At that point all I wanted to do was lose weight. Going through the process has made me realize that I need to come to terms with myself before I can come to terms with food. - 9/19/2008   4:16:30 PM
    • PHANTOM245W44ST
      47
      I did this when I was on weight watchers, that's why I ended up quitting and gaining weight back. - 9/19/2008   9:24:16 AM
    • 46
      I've found it's not a matter of "good" or "bad" foods, but portions. It's not poison, after all. If you want more of a specific type of food, find a version of it that lets you eat more with fewer consequences (low-fat or low-sugar varieties), and then portion out according to the altered ingredients. Replacing a chip with celery doesn't work for everybody. If you aren't happy with your diet, you sure aren't going to stick to it. For those of us that look for happiness in the effects of eating healthier rather than in the food itself: if you can do it, good for you. I love food and consider it part of my life. Not obsessing over it, but learning new portions instead, helps considerably in maintaining a no-fuss lifestyle. - 9/18/2008   2:27:02 PM
    • 45
      This is the reason I failed the last time I tried to lose weight - I became so obsessed with everything I ate that when I had a serious sweet tooth and ate a piece of chocolate I felt really guilty and ended the attempt to lose weight thinking I have not got the willpower and that I was a failure. Won't feel the same now though if it happens again - although hopefully it won't. - 9/18/2008   1:07:02 PM
    • 44
      I agree with amandaraqs.....though I have to watch my intuition or it will have me bringing home that bag of chocolate covered peanuts and peanut butter cups LOLOL Sweet treats are my major downfall........though once in a while as a special SMALL PORTION CONTROLLED treat won't undo all I've accomplished.......nor will my fear of waking up having gained all the weight back I've lost come true (not overnight anyway). Food is necessary to sustain life......not an evil to be locked away and monitored so strictly that you have no life. Do I agree with adding yet another diagnosis to the list of ever growing "illnesses"......I'd have to say yes and no......as with many of the so called diagnosis out there the color is very gray for me.......especially after working in the medical profession for 15+ years. - 9/18/2008   10:07:33 AM
    • 43
      This is a gray area. Does the desire to choose organic, natural foods strongly affect my life? Absolutely. I rarely shop at supermarkets and almost never eat in restaurants. I do not obsess over fat grams, calories, or food groups. I eat when hungry and stop when contented. I eat dessert. Daily. I refuse to judge or chide others regarding their personal choices. Mostly, I believe in letting "food be thy medicine". If this qualifies me as a DSM IV candidate, so be it. - 9/18/2008   4:36:14 AM
    • 42
      This is an interesting topic. Rather than "good" or "bad" foods, I tend to think there are certain foods that I should only have rarely. Portion control also plays a big part, as well as exercise. Trying to totally avoid a desirable but unhealthy food could have disasterous results. - 9/17/2008   11:21:03 PM
    • 41
      Unlike the blogger (but along with many of those who commented), I want to say that this disorder is very real. I am really glad there is a name for it and I have learned more about it! I know someone personally who is extremely, extremely limited in her life because of her adherence to her very specific, limited, "healthy" diet. She can't do simple social things like go to other people's apartments, because it would mess up her food rituals or bring her into contact with forbidden foods. Can you imagine not being able to go other places becuase of your diet?And she thinks she is the picture of health. And just like with anorexia, it is crazy difficult to address the problem with her, because she can't see it herself.

      Like many of you all said - balance and moderation is key. Sometimes you have to enjoy eating ice cream or a taco! - 9/17/2008   9:03:00 PM
    • 40
      There are foods that are "bad" for me, but that doesn't mean they are bad for others. I am very sodium sensitive and since I have high blood pressure, I eliminate as many high sodium foods as possible. I am border line diabetic so watch the sugar intake. My husband doesn't need to so I bake for him. But I honestly believe the reason SP has worked so well for me is that I have learned to eat all foods in moderation. Instead of going without ice cream and chocolate, I have learned to eat No Sugar, Lowfat Frozen Yogurt with 1 Tbsp. Hershey's Syrup and I no longer sneak that forbidden ice cream late at night. And I have been "dieting" for 60 years!!! With SP, I finally feel successful with my 25 lb. weight loss in the last 5 months and will work toward losing more with a program of plenty of healthy foods. There are always people who go to extremes in everything, guess they are obsessive-compulsive. - 9/17/2008   5:51:55 PM
    • 39
      I have to admit that I have a major problem with "good" foods and "bad" foods, as well as basing my eating habits on whether or not I'VE been "good" or "bad", feeling extreme guilt if I eat something on the bad list. I also have a problem with going off on random binges, but for some reason it always seems to happen when I'm in a social eating situation that places me around a lot of different foods that I normally wouldn't allow myself, like a buffet. Luckily this has only happened three or four times.
      I do also tend to avoid any social situations that involve food, and get upset if I don't know exactly how many calories something has. It's frustrating, but I just can't seem to get past it. - 9/17/2008   3:21:04 PM
    • 38
      I do think there are a few "bad foods" that we would all do better without, things that hardly deserve the label "food," like soft drinks/pop with high-fructose corn syrup & other items with empty calories & damaging effects. But the corporations that make & market them have succeeded in creating cravings & addictions to them, & it's challenging to avoid them. If I were visiting friends in a developing country & they offered me Coke as an expression of hospitality, I would drink it & forget about it. No need to become obsessive or judgmental. - 9/17/2008   1:33:06 PM
    • 37
      These were great comments. I agree with the "no-good and no-bad" food labels....I prefer to focus on portions and frequency. That is why I find the nutrition tracker so valuable. If I bite it....I write it....then I keep my carbs, fats, and protein in proper % balance.
      Froggie Gramma - 9/17/2008   1:18:25 PM
    • 36
      I know for a fact that the idea of "good" and "bad" foods doesn't work for me. Eventually I get the urge for a "bad" food and overeat it because its "off limits". When I use moderation with all foods I feel less focused on food and eat healthier overall. I don't know if I was "orthorexic" but I was over doing it with the foods that I thought I could no longer eat. - 9/17/2008   12:27:52 PM
    • SASSYBRITCHES
      35
      I agree with KINGLOSER. It isn't the food that is bad, it is our habits. When are these "psycho" experts going to quit over analyzing life and admit we are human, therefore we are not perfect and each one of us needs to be accountable for what we do. I'm so sick of people blaming their lifestyles on someone or something other than themselves. Face it these are choices. No one holds a gun to my head when I choose to eat a bag of potato chips. Does everything we do have to be a disease?!!!! - 9/17/2008   11:20:20 AM
    • 34
      I am guilty of being a food snob now.. I have been eating pretty clean for the past 6 months now and feel so much better..

      I hate to see others eating crap but try not to say anything unless they invite me to.. except with my loved ones.. Steve thinks pepsi, chocolate and sugar are the 3 main staples.. it kills me to see hat he is doing to himself but i have learned to just let it go.. - 9/17/2008   11:16:39 AM
    • 33
      This article is food for thought. At times it is difficult because I do a challenge to have no added sugar for a week and my DH, who cooks, goes into I don't know what you can or can't eat mode. I tell him to make whatever he wants and if I don't want to eat it not to feel bad. As a rule, I avoid processed foods and strive for a balanced diet with grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and some meat. When we eat out, I look for what I think is the best healthy choice. If it is not possible, I just eat less of what I order. I don't make a fuss and don't go crazy asking the waiter to have the foods specially prepared or anything like that which could embarrass our dinner partners. Am I obsessed with healthy eating and choosing a healthy lifestyle--probably, but I do my best not to cause problems for my family and friends (most of them tell me that I inspire them, so how bad could it be? you think they are just paying lip service to me???) - 9/17/2008   10:52:13 AM
    • 32
      really well said, amandaraqs! i really like your philosophy, in fact it's exactly what i TRY to do, but i'm still having a little trouble with the guilt part. i try not to think in terms of "good" and "bad" foods, as i think variety and moderation are key when it comes to sticking to a healthy lifestyle. but for me, i worry about that one little treat snowballing into an unraveling of all my good habits, and gaining back all the weight i worked so hard to lose. i think that fear is what makes it really easy to become a little obsessive. - 9/17/2008   10:26:15 AM
    • 31
      A while ago I did start to wonder about myself: have I gone from obsessing with food to... well, obsessing with food? But after thinking, reading articles, reading this blog I think that I'm OK :) I am not obsessing, I am just trying to make good/better choices then I used to make before. Moderation is a key, I beleive. As to having orthorexia become an official diagnosis, I'm afraid I'd agree with the author: diagnosis will depend on a person seeing the patient, and there is much more to it then someone's (even a profesional) opinion. We also shouldn't blame the quality of foods we consume on producers. We don't have to buy chips, cookies etc. We choose to buy them. So, as always, it comes down to our own responsibility of making right choices. Just not obsessing... - 9/17/2008   10:22:16 AM
    • 30
      i DO believe that there are "bad" foods.. if you can really call them food... there are some choices at McDonalds for instance that are SO counterproductive health-wise to any person's body... on the other hand, i do believe in balance and moderation... i would like to live as healthy as i can..... that would mean choosing good real food... not processed stuff...but allowing for a treat every day so that i dont feel deprived.. - 9/17/2008   10:21:13 AM
    • 29
      I like the "Intuitive Eating" approach on the website. This makes the most sense to me.

      Can you obsess on "healthy" eating? Yes, I believe you can. And you can drive yourself up a wall trying to figure out what constitutes "healthy" -- does it mean organic? Raw? Only cooked at home?

      Moderation and common sense helped me to lose weight. I KNOW I love Pepperidge Farms Goldfish crackers, and I KNOW I will eat the whole box, so I only buy the small packs, or I don't buy them at all. That's a food that triggers a behavior in me (overeating) that I'm trying to eliminate, so I keep the temptations to do so to a minimum.

      I don't like the idea of "Bad" foods or "guilty pleasures." I prefer to think of Goldfish crackers and DQ Blizzards as special treats. And I refuse to feel guilty for eating them, as long as I have planned for them in my diet, and can look forward to them for a day or so. I have pizza and wine every Friday night without guilt because I work out before I eat and I burn off any excess calories over 1500. I actually look forward to working out because it's a good long sweat, I feel good afterwards, and I get my yummy pizza treat! Food is part of life, and meant to be enjoyed, but enjoyed sensibly and in moderation. - 9/17/2008   9:59:29 AM
    • 28
      Anything taken to the extreme is not good. Yes, there are foods we should probably avoid on a daily basis, but I try not to go overboard about labeling food good and bad. Too stressful and counterproductive. - 9/17/2008   9:29:22 AM
    • LINDASUEBUHL
      27
      I saw a television story about this eating disorder - what it seems to say is too many people are so obsessed about themselves! Food is not evil - there is no good or bad in the food. Sad how people are willing to live totally bizarre lives thinking it is a good thing - based on the program's interviews - most of the sufferers were FAR more disturbed than just in their eating patterns. balance - moderation - reality - all concepts needed to eat healthy. This is one of the only countries in the world where people worry over WHAT to eat rather than IF they can eat. Maybe teaching people a course in common sense will help? sorry - not trying to offend anyone - but it is frustrating to hear so many disorders when it comes down to living a reasonable life - I've dealt with several serious addiction problems and on the other side of it - life is good and worthy of enjoyment! - 9/17/2008   9:08:24 AM
    • 26
      personally i think this is rediculous. if companies didn't produce such an overwhelming amount of toxic garbage for people to ingest- so much processed food with no nutritional value- we'd all be eating healthy and no one would have to worry. It saddens me to think the medical field is going to put an actual disorder on people (like me) who want to eat as best they can to nourish their body and give it the highest quality of nutrients with minimal empty calories. - 9/17/2008   9:07:49 AM
    • 25
      I'm not sure why some people have to become FANATICS, but it seems that there are some in every "interest", be it skydiving or vegans.
      What I find interesting is MOTHERS upset because their babies are having plastic bottles and the plastic has them worried. WHY NOT BREASTFED your baby if you are so HEALTH concerned? - 9/17/2008   8:55:32 AM

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