When Concern About Healthy Eating Becomes Obsessive
This podcast addresses an eating disorder known as 'orthorexia'
(Editor's note: This podcast is from The Not Old – Better Show.)
As part of our Fitness Friday series, today's show will focus on what can happen to people when they become obsessed with healthy eating. Of course, eating a diet of good nutrition and clean food is important. But for some people, this becomes a preoccupation that ends up inhibiting their lives and even endangering their health. Helping us to understand this condition, known as "orthorexia," is returning guest Sabrena Jo, the director of science and research content for the American Council on Exercise.
As Jo explains, "people with orthorexia spend increasing amounts of time and effort purchasing, planning and preparing 'pure' and healthy meals, which becomes an all-consuming obsession that interferes with other areas of life, and it also results in weight loss." Jo is careful to point out that unlike other eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia, orthorexia is not recognized in any standard psychiatric manuals for health care providers. "So, this really is a 'proposed condition.' It has been written about but it hasn't been accepted in the medical community as something that a person can be diagnosed with as of yet," she notes.
Jo explains how this extreme condition came to be recognized and what research says about it. She also talks about a healthy, balanced approach to eating and exercise.