Malnutrition, severe weight loss or other medical complications from restricted diet, Intrapersonal distress or impairment of social, academic or vocational functioning secondary to beliefs or behaviors about healthy diet. If left untreated, they can result in irreversible damage to a person’s health. (In both terms, "nervosa" indicates an unhealthy psychological state.) From the Greek, the term orthorexia nervosa literally means “correct diet.” One thing we do know is that, because it can cause malnutrition, orthorexia nervosa may produce any of the medical problems associated with anorexia nervosa including loss of menses, osteoporosis, and heart failure. You might also derive a sense of accomplishment from mapping out your meals and contemplating how to best achieve your health goals. Instead, try slowly establishing trust. Bratman based this proposed condition on his personal experiences in the 1970s, as well as behaviors he observed among his patients in the 1990s. This shows that high-ON individuals likely take pride over their healthy eating habits over others and that is the driving force behind their orthorexia as opposed to body image like anorexia. Like other eating disorders, orthorexia can have severe consequences. Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life. The person may do cleanses. [7] According to a study published in 2011, two-thirds of a sample of 111 Dutch-speaking eating disorder specialists felt they had observed the syndrome in their clinical practice. Anorexia and Osteoporosis: What's the Link? The risk may also depend on age, gender, education level, and socioeconomic status, but more research is needed before conclusions can be reached (2). Malnutrition, severe weight loss, or other medical consequences from a restricted diet, Intrapersonal distress or impairment of social, academic, or occupational functioning due to beliefs or behaviors about healthy diet, Self-worth, identity, and body image unduly dependent on compliance with one's “healthy” diet, Adoption of a highly restrictive dietary theory, Childhood illness involving diet and/or digestive issues, Medical problems that can’t be addressed by medical science, Parents who place undue importance on healthy food. You stick rigidly to your diet and may refuse to eat or become anxious if you don’t have access to food that meets your specifications. Orthorexia is not recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) as an official eating disorder. If this is the case for you or a loved one, a doctor's visit (and hopefully a discussion with a doctor) is a great first step. Since orthorexia is often rooted in anxiety and self-doubt, you’ll only make your loved one feel worse and break down the lines of communication. Some experts think there are similarities between the constant worry about food seen in orthorexia as in eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia nervosa. In 2016, formal criteria for orthorexia were proposed in the peer-reviewed journal Eating Behaviors by Thom Dunn and Steven Bratman. But if you’re worried that your diet is taking over your life, or worried about a love one’s eating habits, asking the following questions can help. As with other eating disorders, early intervention increases the chance of a complete recovery and minimizes negative consequences. Although you may begin a diet simply intending to improve your health, this focus can become more extreme. If you have orthorexia, your ritualized eating style also leaves little time for other activities. Healthline's mission is to make people healthier through the power of information. Care more about the idea of your food than the taste of it? The consequences of orthorexia can be just as severe as those from other eating disorders. Their rigid beliefs and rules can cause problems with social. Bratman, Steven. 2010;51(1):49-54. doi:10.1016/j.comppsych.2009.03.001, Moroze RM, Dunn TM, Craig holland J, Yager J, Weintraub P. Microthinking about micronutrients: a case of transition from obsessions about healthy eating to near-fatal "orthorexia nervosa" and proposed diagnostic criteria. ", "Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition",, "Disorders Usually First Diagnosed in Infancy, Childhood, or Adolescence",, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from January 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Compulsive behavior and/or mental preoccupation regarding affirmative and restrictive dietary practices believed by the individual to promote optimum health.

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