Diseases

Orthorexia: when eating well becomes an obsession

Orthorexia is a disorder of eating behavior, as well as anorexia or hyperphagia . The origin of the word comes from ortho (= right) and orexis (= appetite).

People suffering from orthorexia are in permanent control of the quality of their diet: not too much fat, salty, sweet, healthy eating and maximum of only organic food, etc. In short, orthorexic is a fixation on the quality of its diet.

The first to mention this disorder in the late 90s is Dr. Steven Bratman in the United States. Author of several books on this theme, including a "Health Food Junkies" in which he officially classifies orthorexia as an eating disorder.

Orthorexia is not an illness per se. It is an eating disorder that does not affect health. On the other hand, it can have consequences on everyday, family and social life. And can progress to more pathological behavior, such as anorexia.

Anorexia is also a disorder of eating behavior. But where orthorexia is a fixation on the quality of the diet, anorexia is an obsession with quantity. Anorexics are more in weight control than orthorexics. However, there is a bridge between the two. It is not uncommon for a former anorexic to take the plunge by transferring his anxiety of quantity to a quality control. And conversely! This is why, in the face of orthorexia, one must be vigilant.

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Read also :

> Bulimia
> Anorexia nervosa
> Eating disorders: getting by on the web?

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