WHAT IS ORTHOREXIA

This a subject I have never read about from any fitness/health account I have followed ever since in Instagram, probably a sensitive topic that might hurt some via guilt, can also help many. Perhaps easily predicted, a German research in 2017 has also linked Instagram use (celebrities, influencers, fitness accounts) to increased symptoms of orthorexia (Turner, Lefevre, 2017).

  1. Orthorexia nervosa is an eating disorder defined as the ‘’obsession of eating what are considered healthy foods’’ (Bratman & Knight, 2000) in order to avoid illness or disease, weight gain or fat. It’s a subject that hasn’t received much attention nor research on whether sport activities are related to the disorder, but it has been observed that usually sport enthusiasts are most likely to have orthorexia.
  2. Its diagnosis is not settled, hence medical representatives are still wondering whether to classify orthorexia nervosa as a new disease. It becomes easier to identify by analysing and looking more into a group’s sub-culture, observing behaviours while eating and whether there is an ardent interest in ‘’eating right’’..
  3. Orthorexia is directly related to ‘’healthism’’, which assumes that health can be achieved in an unproblematic way through individual discipline and moral conduct – primarily through regular exercise (Kirk & Colquhoun, 1989) and healthy eating (Wright, O’Flynn, & Macdonald, 2006) hence in Sweden for instance, the governmental agency that was in charge with the health of its citizens have rather acquired a breezier role after the 1970s, after which diverse and ‘’new’’ diets have became trendier and nourishment has taken a very individualistic consciousness.
  4. While directions and representations of health (usually low-fat) in the West is usually labelled as good (due to the high obesity rates), there are also behaviours that have became excessive (continuous calorie counting), unnatural (dangerous shredding to very low fat % affecting the female hormonal system), dependent (meal-prepping not for time saving but for obsessive control over meals).

Be kind to yourself!

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