Orthorexia: An eating disorder that is misunderstood and inadvertently praised

Orthorexia: An eating disorder that is misunderstood and inadvertently praised

Jason Wood, a man who suffers from orthorexia, recently had a moment of intense anxiety and stress while on vacation with his husband. The trigger? His inability to swap pita for fresh vegetables in his hummus plate. This incident sheds light on the growing issue of orthorexia, a fixation on eating “clean” according to individual rules.

Orthorexia is not officially recognized in the DSM, but clinicians are seeing a rise in patients suffering from the disorder. Those with orthorexia may become obsessed with following strict food rules, leading to potential progression into other eating disorders. The focus on “healthy eating” can also be a disguised form of diet culture, which can be expensive, distracting, and distressing.

Treatment for orthorexia follows a similar path to established plans for other eating disorders, but finding a specialist with experience in orthorexia may be a challenge. Recovery from orthorexia can involve working with a team of therapists and dietitians, as well as educating friends and family about the disorder to create understanding and compassion.

The healing process may be difficult but rewarding, as individuals with orthorexia can learn to refocus their time and energy on other aspects of life rather than solely on rigid food rules. It is important for those struggling with orthorexia to seek help and support in order to overcome this debilitating disorder. Stay tuned to Insider Wales Sport for more updates on this important issue.

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