Orthorexia is a growing form of disordered eating that is gaining popularity mainly through social media.
And this specific danger is uniquely risky because it so easily goes undetected due to its emphasis on healthy eating.
Trish Brimhall, RDN, CD, CLE with Nutritious Intent, joined us to tell us more about what it is and the signs to watch out for.
She says isn't just healthy eating, it is by definition an obsession with healthy eating.
Ways to identify this specific compulsive behavior include watching for the following:
• Compulsive reading of nutrition and ingredient labels
• Increased worry or concern about the healthfulness of ingredients
• Eliminating food groups (going off sugar, cutting out carbs, eliminating all animal products)
• Excessive focus on 'pure', 'clean' or 'healthy' foods
• Obsessively following healthy food or lifestyle accounts on Twitter or Instagram or TikTok
• Avoidance of particular foods without any true food allergy
• Refusing to eat any processed food
• Increase of food rules
• Inability to eat foods that were formerly enjoyed
• Guilt or shame when not able to follow personal food rules
• Avoiding social eating events or food prepared by others
• Emphasis on labeling foods as good or bad and then transferring those labels to the people that consume them.
This specific type of disordered eating often appeals to perfectionist, compulsive or obsessive personality types. Children raised in orthorexic homes often have unhealthy relationships with food.
Orthorexic behavior can also progress to other forms of eating disorders.
A healthy eating pattern includes nutrition powerhouses as well as fun foods.
Balance and moderation always apply – since too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing.
You can learn more from Trish at nutritiousintent.com.