Orthorexia ?

Even healthy eating can become problematic.

Orthorexia is a term coined by American physician Dr. Stephen Bratman in the 1990s. It describes an unhealthy fixation with eating only ‘healthy’ foods. It is not to be confused with anorexia, an eating disorder focused on severe caloric restriction.

‘Orthos’ is the Greek word for right.

The condition begins as individuals focus on improving their diets for the sake of their well-being. This, of course is an excellent goal.

It becomes problematic, however; when people become obsessed with eating only ‘pure’ foods. People will avoid foods suspected of containing pesticides and additives, or other ingredients such as salt, fat, and refined sugar.

Often, people with orthorexia will eliminate certain food groups completely, thinking that they are not ‘pure’ enough.

Orthorexia is linked to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. In some cases, people can develop nutritional deficiencies , weight loss and weakness.

Social isolation can also result, as individuals may avoid dining with others for fear of being exposed to unhealthy foods.

Orthorexia suffers may become judgemental, and look down on people who eat less healthy foods. (Mac ‘n Cheese, anyone? )

God has created an abundance of foods for our enjoyment.

Let us pray for the grace to be prudent about our diets without developing ‘food fear’.

53 thoughts on “Orthorexia ?

  1. I was not aware of the term for it but I have encountered some people who are absolutely obsessed with eating β€˜pure’ as you call it. I do think it is taking healthy eating to the wrong end of the spectrum.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I wasn’t familiar with the term, but know of the eating habits and behaviour associated with it. I had an old friend that converted exclusively to a raw diet extremely high in fibre. Avoidable health issues followed. Moderation and variety. πŸ˜ŠπŸ™

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This was a real eye opener, I now can say with certainty I have a friend who has this condition. Thank you for posting this, God bless you.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. πŸ€— Good Morning Sally! Spot-On and so excellent of you to bring this to the fore! This has become a very serious issue and so many people are being manipulated or falling into the trap of thinking they can find a perfect diet balance by eliminating so many food stuffs from their own eating. I’ve engaged in many a conversation with especially ladies I must say in the supermarket about foods being purchased or on the shelves and so many of them I have to say especially the younger ladies are into this Vegan thing and are robbing their bodies of collagen and other essential components of the body to keep it healthy and perhaps they get away with it for now being younger and having high levels of production in their bodies but as they age or get eventual illnesses that come for many people regardless of habits they will suffer the consequences of having these highly restrictive diets that are UN-Natural! I only try to forewarn them but with mostly it goes in one ear and out the other as they are thinking they know it all and to me perhaps are the obsessive compulsive types of personalities you mention here which there are too many of in this high tech fast passed world today. Dieting can be and for all intent and purposes is a double edged sword! I know from factual history even simple observation and looking back nearly a century that my great grandparents, grandparents and indeed my mom and dad all ate from the food pyramid a well-balanced diet and didn’t fuss obsessively with being picky about only eat that and don’t eat this every day! One point of contention I may add here is that over the last 100 years many foods have been marketed like any other consumer product for appearance and catch phrases like healthy just to dupe people into buying and eating them for profit to the corporations! But, these are typically highly processed foods and we aren’t talking about that so much I believe because anyone with a half a clue knows that anything they buy in a package should be looked at for actual contents and staying away from too much salt or sugar in one thing or another isn’t a bad thing. But if people would just stick to the essential Whole Foods and as fresh as possible to maintain the potency of the food stuff or item they are eating the way God intended them to, they will live a good life! Be fruitful and multiply from Scriptures means this I believe and I like to say eat fruitfully and you will multiply in all the right ways; God didn’t make eating to survive a taxing issue that we should stress about every time we are hungry! We should just Eat Well!
    I would eat at that table of yours you have laid out with nutritious foods any time eating them all!
    Thanks for making me hungry just now! I’m going to make some pancakes with real maple syrup and lots of butter!!! Some fruit on the side and yummy!!!
    Love this article and the photo!!! πŸ€—

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lawrence! Yes, pancakes with maple syrup and butter sounds yummy !
      Food is created for our enjoyment, and our nourishment.
      You are wise to warn people about the results of restrictive eating.

      The great irony of course, is that so many people in the world are suffering from hunger, while some members of western society become increasingly restrictive in foods that they will consume.
      Thanks, as always, for your insightful comment ! πŸ€—

      Liked by 2 people

      1. 😊🐎 They certainly do as God said in many scriptures man should treat his animals that we have stewardship over; well, and not mistreat them. More than happy to speak well of the animals, they are treated badly by many in this chaotic world. Let’s pray for them as well. Amen. πŸ™ πŸ™

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahaha…Lawrence – I can understand your doggie loving the sandwich – brings back so many memories of my dogs being great mooches as well ( it’s that expression in their eyes as they stare) .
        Yes, haughty is a good word, Lawrence. It is naughtiness and human pride that creates divisions within Christianity that make our Lord weep.

        I am going shopping later on and plan to get ingredients to make a sandwich like the one you described. 😊🌷

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I just laughed immediately upon reading here what you wrote!!! 😊 Wonderfully put all that you say here! I was smiling the whole time and the doggie part because I love them all made me happy and smiling quickly; but then I let out a big laugh when you said, I am going shopping later on and plan to get ingredients to make a sandwich like the one you described.” You remind of my childhood days when with siblings we would have situations where one or another had just made and was eating some yummy food and the one that was seeing this said, oh yea I’m going to get some too!
        Yes, I guess I must always chalk up to experience once again how the haughty are resistant to really looking into themselves and seeing the beam in their own eye but fighting to show you the speck in yours! As I say, I think the only thing for me to do is pray for such souls. I’m tired and weary of arguments with people who won’t listen or open the heart fully to truly engage; then want to stand above and perhaps lecture! Perhaps a control issue, I’m not a psychologist but from life experience with many sorts of people in it, I learned a fair amount about human behavior and their foibles.
        I wish I caught you sooner but you probably know this; when making the sandwich, I lay the first slice of bread on the plate, on that I lay usually 3 slices of provolone cheese then while the peppers are very hot I place all I can on top of the cheese to melt it all, but all the moist liquid doesn’t soak the bread beneath this way, which makes it a sloppy Joe style to eat with a fork if it does. Then I place the top piece of break in place and cut the sandwich in halves. You being a Mother and Wife I bet you know all these fine points but I just wanted to make sure and if anyone else out there is going to get hungry for this dish they won’t make it hard to pick up and hold.
        I bet you enjoy this sandwich!
        I wasn’t around this morning as much was out running errands and did a huge food shopping so I’m about to put a full chicken dinner on with the works and you should see my dog as I’m preparing this meal one of her favorites, lol! What a life and if I was a dog like her and had a daddy like me I would be so happy and I day that because I’m so happy to do it for her! Lots of love there! God is pleased!
        πŸ˜‰ πŸ‘ πŸ™ πŸ™

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Good morning. A refreshing, informative and interesting post. I had not heard of the term, but know of a few folks that took it all the way left. Great learning here.
    Thank you. Have a wonderful day.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Sally, this is a great post! I had never heard of the term before but I know a couple people who would fit that totally. Great info, thanks for sharing it! Have a great day!😁😸🌞

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hello, Sally! You have enlightened me once again! Unless a person grows their own food, I don’t see how they know whether it is β€œpure” or not! I question the β€œorganic” food section at the grocery store. All that we do, comes down to the heart. What is my motivation. Why do I do what we do? Who is in control? β€œWhether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory ofGod.” 1 Corinthians 10:31. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi ! Exactly ! Often people with orthorexia are dealing with control issues, and suffer exaggerated fears of illness and vulnerability.
      As you say, I also question the ‘organic’ section in the grocery store.
      Thanks for the scripture reference. 😊🌷

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great article, your research info is very informative about not being so rigid in our eating habits. It’s “ok” to cheap every once in awhile. Life is short enjoy eating with a good balance.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have never heard the term before, but it is quite interesting. I learned something new today. They said too much of one thing is not good. Thanks, Sally. Keep up the great work you are doing

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Sally

    Great article – I did not know that there was a word for this πŸ˜€ and I guess I sometimes have orthorexia – in my case it depends on my mood , sometimes I decide to eat more healthy and I am obsessed about it, and there is usually a point where I cannot take it any longer and I just have to eat a huge pack of Reese’s (addicted to them).

    How have you been?



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha….Hi Mark ! I can identify with eating healthy for a while, and then having a tasty snack of something not so ‘healthy.’ πŸ€—
      We are doing pretty well here by the sea, restrictions are gradually being lifted.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thats greeeat πŸ™‚ glad to hear that restrictions are being lifted – things are getting back to normal in Hungary too. Everything has reopened except for movie theaters and large gatherings are still banned – but apart from that, its almost like it was before

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Great ! We have all gained strength that we didn’t know we had through all this, Mark.
        Let us pray that this virus will go away permanently.

        I am hoping, though, that the distancing in public spaces stays the same. I dislike being crowded, especially when I am checking out at the grocery store. πŸ˜‚


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