Monday, March 2, 2009


In the interest of expanding our vocabularies, I came across this word today on MSN:

Orthorexia. See if you can guess the definition:

A. An eating disorder characterized by excessive focus on eating healthy foods.
B. Consumption of huge amounts of food during a brief period of time and feels totally out of control and unable to stop their eating.
C. Deliberate sustained weight loss driven by fear of distorted body image.

(pause while Jeopardy music plays....)

The correct answer is A.

The term was coined by Dr. Steven Bratman, a Colorado doctor, to describe an eating disorder characterized by a quest for purity of diet by avoiding processed foods, and foods that contain animal fats and preservatives. The key is that orthorexics are literally obsessed by eating healthy as well as being concerned with such unfathomable concepts as antinutrients, macronutrient ratios. For more information on orthorexia, see this link.

By the way, definition B is the eating disorder "binge eating disorder," and definition C is the eating disorder anorexia nervosa.


Angie Ledbetter said...

Saw a show on this fascinating eating disorder not too long ago. people literally dying to be what they think is healthy.

CDP said...

A word for this phenomenon was definitely necessary. I think there also needs to be a word for the profound fatigue I feel when I have to listen to anyone monopolizing a conversation with talk about their food issues. Blah.