• Sabrina Wertzner

Orthorexia: example of health or obsession?


It starts with a chicken-with-sweet potato, passes through the green-detox-juice, comes along with whey protein and shakes...

And when you realize, you don't eat anything that is not on the diet. Gets narrow-minded. Isolates. You firmly believe that your "discipline" and "organization" are examples of health.

They are not.

Orthorexia is not described in the DSM V and it is still being discussed whether or not it may be considered an eating disorder, a variant of a currently recognized eating disorder (such as an obsessive-compulsive disorder), or a separate disorder.

The term orthorexia derives from the words orthos (= with precision) and orexis (= hunger) that indicates a fixation (it can also be called obsession) by healthy foods or a dependency of the same. The term was first coined by Steven Bratman, in 1997.

What is consensus among authors is that it is a psychological disorder for causing physical, psychological and social consequences to the individual.


Surveys differ sharply in results on prevalence, largely due to the divergence between the applied methodology (as well as the evaluation tools), the small number of studies conducted around the world and also the population samples already collected: varied at educational and cultural levels.

Likewise, they differ in predictors for orthorexia nervosa: certain authors indicate an association between elevated BMI and body image disturbance with the impairment, and some do not find significant associations in their results.

It is not yet certain and data are lacking for experts in the field to agree on orthorexia nervosa.

It is worth mentioning that orthorexia is very different from the conscious motivation to have a healthy diet.

It is difficult, complicated and almost invisible, just like eating disorders.

While there is no agreement among researchers, we swim against the tide of those who preach this "lifestyle" as healthy, we must try to wisely promote what is proper eating - without fads and extremisms - in whom we love and care.


If you have identified with this text, read more about this topic on Dr. Bratman's website and find a professional expert to handle it.

BRYTEK-MATERA, Anna et al. Orthorexia nervosa and self-attitudinal aspects of body image in female and male university students. Journal Of Eating Disorders, [s.l.], v. 3, n. 1, p.1-8, 24 fev. 2015. Springer Nature. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40337-015-0038-2.

BRATMAN, Steven. Orthorexia Essay. 1997. Bratman, Steven. Health Food Junkie. Yoga Journal 1997; September/October:42-50.. Disponível em: <http://www.orthorexia.com/original-orthorexia-essay/>. Acesso em: 28 jun. 2017.

VARGA, Márta et al. When eating healthy is not healthy: orthorexia nervosa and its measurement with the ORTO-15 in Hungary. Bmc Psychiatry, [s.l.], v. 14, n. 1, p.1-11, 28 fev. 2014. Springer Nature. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-244x-14-59.


#Obsessão #DSMV #Eatingdisorders #HealthyEating #Orthorexia #Lifestyle

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