Let’s face it, eating and food rank are essential survival needs. Diet, nutririon and supplement information is searched for thousands if not millions of times per day online and it is one of the fastest growing wellness areas. With a few keywords, a search engine page pulls up a front page filled with sponsored listings for apps, nutrition certification programs, books, blogs and coaching.Not to mention, we’ve all encountered someone preaching the benefits of a fad.
But what happens when a desire to eat healthy becomes an obsession? A common pattern I have seen with patients with body image issues or in recovery from eating disorders (or other additions) is a preoccupation with long term restrictive regimes that may have negative effects on their health and relationships. While eating a healthy well balanced diet is important. Realistically we all encounter situations where the only option is what is in front of us and it is break a regular routine or go hungry.
In cases where the propcpatiion or obsessive nature of following a specific diet begins to create issues for an individual,, clinicians are recognizing patterns of what is defined as Orthorexia Nervosa. While note currently recogznied in the DSM-5 (The primary diagnostic manual used for mental health concerns), it is currently being researched for the relationship with other eating disorders as well as anxiety and depression.