Follow a healthy diet is the most effective way to stay in shape and also prevent serious diseases such as cancer. Being constantly in search of the perfect diet is, however, a little healthy behavior. It is called orthorexia, the obsession with healthy diet.
Next to the classic Mediterranean diet, in recent years have spread numerous diets that provide for the exclusion of certain foods considered harmful to health. The most followed are the vegetarian diet, vegan, raw food.
Those who keep a food regime does both for ethical reasons – respect towards animals and the environment – both for health reasons, in the belief that eating everything except meat, dairy products or cooked food is the elixir of healthy living.
There is no doubt that the regular consumption of red meat exposed to the risk of cancer, and it is common knowledge that eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day is good for the whole organism. Against this background, the commitment of each should maintain a healthy balanced diet to really give the body everything it needs, it lacks balance orthorexia.
Orthorexia: Food or mental disorder?
The first to speak of orthorexia was in 1997 the American doctor Steven Bratman, who, more precisely, gave evidence to orthorexia nervous, an expression that immediately connect anorexia and bulimia.
The orthorexia nervosa has points in common with anorexia and bulimia, complex and always-current eating disorders: the obsession with food, food control, the blame for having succumbed to a transgression.
In contrast to bulimia and anorexia, orthorexia is not included among the mental disorders list compiled by the American Psychiatric Association because, according to some specialists, the obsession with healthy diet stems from the attainment of perfection, purity of the food and not from the tight control of their body weight.
An explanation that highlights an important difference but not enough net to separate the food sphere from the psychic. The Bratman himself stated as “at times orthorexia has traits in common with obsessive-compulsive disorders and anorexia, without ever becoming too similar to these two diseases.”
The choice of a particular food affects the social life regime if food becomes a control mania that replaces a personal fulfillment and to share. In this sense, the uncompromising adherence to a diet can become reason of social inadequacy because reason for refusal of a convivial situation: cook at home, for example, ensures an absent control outside the home or between people who do not observe the same diet.
Nutrition education and awareness
What is the best diet? There is no single answer to this question, there are healthier foods than others and everyone has to eat according to their own tastes and above all their needs due to sports, work and other needs.
To know what is the best suited to their physical diet and lifestyle need to learn about the food, the contribution that gives the body and learn to eat to live well, in balance with yourself and others. A goal that is reached with nutrition education increasingly necessary in schools to combat childhood obesity and among adults who have succumbed to the excesses of the table and disordered eating.