I have heard this term a few times lately, and just read this article about how healthy eating that becomes an obsession is called Orthorexia. Well, read the article below, and wanted to share. While you are reading it keep in mind that 70% of Americans are overweight, and I believe if I have my statistics correct 30% are considered obese. Our country spends billions of dollars on sick people.
Orthorexia: Too Much Of A Healthy Thing?
WebMD provides a comprehensive list of 10 questions that individuals should ask themselves when trying to identify orthorexic behavior. So what constitutes Orthorexia?
- Are you spending more than three hours a day thinking about healthy food? (YES, I'M GETTING CERTIFIED AS A HEALTH COACH)
- Are you planning tomorrow's menu today? (SOMETIMES, I LOVE TO COOK)
- Is the virtue you feel about what you eat more important than the pleasure you receive from eating it? (NOPE)
- Has the quality of your life decreased as the quality of your diet increased? (NO WAY!)
- Have you become stricter with yourself? (YES IN A SENSE)
- Does your self-esteem get a boost from eating healthy? (YES) Do you look down on others who don't eat this way? (NO)
- Do you skip foods you once enjoyed in order to eat the "right" foods? (YES, I USED TO ENJOY OREOS & EASY MAC...TAKE A LOOK AT THOSE INGREDIENTS AND TELL ME IF THEY SHOULD EVEN BE CALLED FOODS)
- Does your diet make it difficult for you to eat anywhere but at home, distancing you from friends and family. (SOMETIMES)
- Do you feel guilt or self-loathing when you stray from your diet? (NOPE)
- When you eat the way you're supposed to, do you feel in total control? (I NEVER FEEL IN TOTAL CONTROL)
So according to WebMD and my answers....I AM ORTHOREXIC!!
Can I tell you how I really feel about this topic? Good.
First of all, I wouldn't normally diagnose myself from WebMD. I think a lot of people freak themselves out looking up their symptoms. Second, of all of the so-called eating disorders (I believe for sure that people suffer from them) the one that I wouldn't be upset if I had is Orthorexia. I do not think being "obsessed" with eating healthy is a problem if you are getting positive results. I understand where they are coming from, because obsessions are not a good thing, but seriously? I hardly thing this country should be worrying about people who are too healthy!
They should be applauding people who make it a priority to be healthy. How much money does a chronically sick person cost the healthcare system? I don't have that number, but I can tell you from my experience with Nani's chemotherapy that it was $6000+ a month. And that is just one aspect of one cancer patient! There were the doctor's visits, tests, additional medicines, hospital stays, hospice.
Just think of all of the millions with heart disease that go under the knife. Or all of the obese people on insulin because they gave themselves diabetes. Which brings me to another thing that astonishes me. Since I have started researching this topic, and thus made significant changes in my diet, I have heard from numerous people "Just don't go to extremes!" I find it ironic that people think eating less meat, cutting out high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and soy products, and eating mostly fruits and vegetables is considered "going to extremes". When in this country alone, millions of people have their chest's cut open to have bypass surgery where they take an artery from your leg and bypass one of your clogged arteries in your heart. THINK ABOUT IT! Which seems more extreme to you?
Orthorexia is ridiculous!
Until this country starts shrinking back to healthier proportions, stops needing surgeries, and gets off of insulin, I would suggest the doctors focus on more important things. Many of our problems can be solved with diet. I am in a situation right now where many people my age do not think that they will ever need a bypass or will ever gain weight as they get older. I was one of them until a year ago! But we have time on our sides which is one of my biggest motivations. I can do this now so that (hopefully) I will never have to have my chest cut open. But you know what? Even if I do, or if I get cancer or some auto-immune disease...AT LEAST I CAN SAY I TRIED!
I'm done ranting. Just had to get it out of my system.