The WSJ put out an article, video and radio show episode called “When Healthy Eating Calls For Treatment, A Desire to eat Clean Food Can Become an Obsession” by Sumathi Reddy (pictured).
In observing these articles and reports over the years dealing with “Orthorexia Nervosa” (which is NOT included in the manual for mental health professionals as a classified diagnosis/illness) I can’t help wonder if the whole reason for the conversation might not be to make people feel self-conscious about reading labels and to shame people for being selective about eating food that is organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, grass-fed, etc….
Is the processed food industry trying to pressure everyone into just eating the unhealthy, processed, toxic garbage that they would have the US population consume, and stereotyping anyone who questions the status quo as a mentally ill extremist? In the video the interviewer calls “eating healthy” a “slippery slope” and the expert agrees.
Wow! That’s just completely inaccurate. Correction: This so-called “orthorexia” affects maybe .001% of healthy eaters; most people simply get healthier when they eat healthier! To be really responsible reporting, any article about orthorexia should end with a closing statement to that effect.
As a raw vegan author and educator for over 20 years, I have seen thousands of people’s health improve by adopting a raw vegan diet (http://tinyurl.com/gardenresults). True, not very many people stick with it, because it is socially difficult to maintain. Many people end up using the diet as a weight loss or rejuvenation diet for a few weeks or months at a time, periodically. And other people end up eating a “high-raw” diet, basically including more raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in their daily diets while also eating some cooked foods.
And some lucky few are thriving on a 100% raw vegan diet long-term. And these people seem to slow the aging process and enjoy incredible health into their old age. I’m thinking of the likes of Karyn Calabrese, Cherie Soria, Annette Larkins, Dr. Fred Bisci, Teresa Jordan, Storm Talifero, Dorit Dyke, Aris LaTham, Mimi Kirk, Lou Corona, Chef Ito, Rev. Michael Beckwith, Tonya Zavasta, Dr. Gabriel Cousens and the list goes on and on.
Sometimes they do end up like hermits to avoid the temptations of the social fabric of society. But others have successfully integrated into a social lifestyle while maintaining their dietary standards, sometimes even without offending others with a healthier-than-thou attitude! In fact, more and more people, sick and tired of being sick and tired, are actually interested in hearing about these successful raw eaters’ dietary philosophies.
But every once in a while you see people who take things to an extreme in some way. In fact, there are whole branches of the raw food diet that exclude an entire macronutrient (fats) completely, and a lot of people who follow those plans long-term end up with deficiencies.
I have met a couple of “orthorexics” in real life and both of them seemed to be making an attempt to self-medicate an untreatable condition by basically starving themselves. Although perhaps there are enough of these cases to warrant further study of the “condition”, discussion of it seems to be doing more harm than good because many within the media manipulate the concept into bashing anyone interested in healthy eating. Perhaps they get bonus points with their advertisers (junk food and pharmaceuticals….hmmmm, anyone care to connect those dots?)
I’m also guessing that some if not all of these people who are “diagnosed” as “orthorexic” (remember it isn’t actually an officially designated condition at this time and that was good of Sumathi Reddy to point out in her article) had OCD before they started eating healthy.
What do you think? Comment below!