Has anyone had the "orthorexia discussion" with a family member or significant other? How did that go?
For those who have not familiar with Dr. Bratman's criteria/definition, you can take the quiz using the following link:
I had one full "yes" answer and one partial. Question 2 was a yes.
I include the question below, and my answer in italics, for your consideration. I'll let you guess which was my other partial yes answer...
Do you plan tomorrow's food today? Yes—people who don’t plan their meals ahead of time are the ones with an “eating disorder,” in my opinion. I have meat thawing for my meals throughout the week. If you don’t plan your meals you’re not well prepared, in my opinion. (“Tomorrow” is pretty arbitrary. Most people don’t even plan as far ahead as dinner.) Not planning for future meals leads to waste more often than not. And it’s only in the last 100 years that we can afford the luxury of not knowing where our next meal is coming from. In that time obesity has skyrocketed, diabetes is common, we have conditions like “acid reflux” which is completely avoidable (it’s caused by eating grains) etc., etc. This is a very bad question, and calls into question the appropriateness and validity of this test.
Publicly consuming large amounts of fatty beef and heavy cream means I very rarely get accused of 'healthy eating'.
I actually do believe in the orthorexia (as a subset of anorexia) theory and have known several people who suffered with it, but in those cases they were starving their bodies because they had developed such a pathological fear of unhealthy foods/too much food - it was a facet of textbook anorexia nervosa. It deserves it's own definition though, IMO.
Eating a specific diet has nothing to do with orthorexia. It's an eating disorder involving starvation and severe health problems. Now, you can develop certain unhealthy/ED tendencies while eating a specific/strict diet, but that does not mean you are 'orthorexic'.
I took the quiz:
According to this scale I am 'orthorexic'. I eat 3000+ calories, mostly of whole foods, every day. Utter bullshit. How is it 'disordered' to put thought and effort into what you eat each day? Not thinking about food and nutrition at all is why so many people eat poorly and pay the long-term consequences!
If living Paleo means that SAD MDs classify me as "sick", then I don't want to be well (especially not their definition of "well").
Paleo has actually helped me to have a much healthier relationship with food - I'm more in touch with my appetite, I know when I'm hungry and am less likely to overeat, I'm enjoying new foods and new ways of cooking, I actually look forward to being hungry so that I can enjoy my food, I don't have to worry that I'll get that "sick" hunger particular to SAD.
Edit: I think that there are some fundamentally different ways of understanding food between SAD eaters and Paleo peeps which could explain this: for example the latter understand the damage that even a small amount of gluten can cause (and keep on causing weeks after the fact) whereas the former just see 300 extra calories of cake, and mistake commonsense self-preservation for some kind of psychiatric disorder. Quite frankly I wouldn't at all mind an indulgence like drinking 300 extra calories of heavy cream (in fact I'd rather enjoy it), but gluten? No thanks.
orthorexic here. i think the fact that this survey and similar people making the case of orthorexia for those following a paleo or even generally healthy-eating lifestyle is that it's so damn hard to eat in western society without thinking about what you're putting in your mouth. i have to plan my meals because how can i eat out regularly when there is gluten and industrial oils permeating everything on the menu. reading what i've read over the last year has convinced me that the SAD is nothing short of slow poison. believing that kind of makes one hypersensitive about what they intake...
EDIT: it's particularly harder in urban settings from what i've experienced and heard anecdotally.
This about the classes of people who would qualify as someone with a problem based on this quiz:
Basically, in order to not have a problem, you have to be indulgent and ignorant.
My presumption is that orthorexia occurs where trying to eat healthy has serious negative repercussions on other aspects of your life. Spending hours and hours looking up nutritional information every day would certainly qualify. Or severely curtailing social life (ie become a shut in to only eat foods prepped the 1 way that you can feel they are acceptable).
I think this is probably a relatively common occurrence in any of the extreme (as defined by not including large food groups, ie grains, meat, fruit, fat) dietary circles.
The stress induced by trying to conform to "healthy eating" at a 100% level (or social isolation) probably does more damage than being more moderate with habits.
As an example of orthorexia: http://paleohacks.com/questions/33697/what-carbohydrates-to-eat-if-eliminating-fructose
Essentially a "not a single gram of fructose" fascination.
No one has confronted me, but my family thinks I'm nuts. They also KNOW I am healthier than I was when I was obese, so what can they really have to say?
I answered yes too many questions:
Do you plan tomorrow's food today?
Do you sacrifice experiences you once enjoyed to eat the food you believe is right?
Do you feel an increased sense of self-esteem when you are eating healthy food? Do you look down on others who don't?
Do you feel guilt or self-loathing when you stray from your diet?
When you are eating the way you are supposed to, do you feel a peaceful sense of total control?
I have reasons for all of them, of course. I am coming from an eating disordered background, though, so this does not shock me.
I will take orthorexia over binge eating any day.
This seems like a test to bring about irresponsibility. As a mom of four, I had to plan a menu...at least a week in advance. Every hour one of the kids would ask what there was to eat. I had to make decisions about food constantly. It is a relief now to only have two people in the house.Salads and meat... I cook ahead so I can grab when rushed. Prepackage the salads and prepackage the meat in pyrex glass storage. Easy as (pie) So I can think LESS about food.
huh. what a dumb quiz . I scored somewhere between 3.5-4.5.
Food could be considered a political issue these days. As more corporations rule the supermarket supply, there are so many ingredients that are simply harmful being put in a majority of food for the sake of profits. To me that's a little like a mugging. I don't have a problem with defending myself from people who want to harm me for my cash.