I know a woman who will only eat organic foods to the point that she'll go hungry if there aren't any around (P.S. Don't invite her over for dinner. She won't eat.). She eats veggies for snacks, fruit for breakfast and refuses meat or eggs because they're "unclean." She has a conspiracy theory going about how restaurant food makes people sick, so she never eats out. Ever. She calls her lifestyle healthy. Others call it orthorexia--a condition that leaves people obsessed with eating healthy. Take this test to see if you may be an orthorexic...
Momlogic recently shed light on a fascinating (yet, scary-sounding) condition. You may have heard of it. Orthorexia Nervosa, a term coined by Steven Bratman, M.D., is described as a "fixation on righteous eating." The name hails from the Greek word "ortho," which means "correct or right."
Here's how Maggie Baumann, MA, describes it: "Someone with orthorexia, males and females are equally affected, has taken the obsession with healthy eating to the extreme. Eating foods that are considered 'pure' is the motivation by these specific eaters. Certain food groups are often avoided, such as fats, any foods made with preservatives, animal products, or any other food considered to be 'unhealthy.'"
"People who struggle with orthorexia often cite that their foods and eating patterns become very ritualistic," she continues. "For some, it takes days to prepare a meal from homegrown organic products. Others obsessively catalog every food they eat. Life is centered on how pure the food you eat is, and your self-esteem is based on how well you maintain this purist behavior. If you ate pure, you consider yourself a "good person." If you ate the wrong food, you consider yourself a 'bad person.'"
Could you be an orthorexic? Take this self-test, developed by Bratman. You could have the condition, or be on your way, if you:
1. Spend more than three hours a day thinking of food.
2. Plan your day's menu more than 24 hours ahead of time.
3. Take more pleasure from the "virtuous" aspect of your food than from actually eating it.
4. Find your quality of life decreasing as the "quality" of your food increases.
5. Are increasingly rigid and self-critical about your eating.
6. Base your self-esteem on eating "healthy" foods, and have a lower opinion of people who do not.
7. Eat "correct" foods to the avoidance of all those that you've always enjoyed.
8. Increasingly limit what you can eat, saying that you dine "correctly" only at home, spending less and less time with friends and family.
9. Feel guilt or self-loathing when you eat "incorrect" foods.
10. Derive a sense of self-control from eating "properly."
Do you think you could be orthorexic? How about anyone you know?
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