National Eating Disorders Awareness Week: Orthorexia Awareness


According to the National Eating Disorder association, up to 30 million people in the US suffer from an eating disorder. This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and a local dietitian shares more on a disorder called orthorexia.

The National Eating Disorders Association says orthorexia involves restriction of the amount and variety of foods eaten, which can cause malnutrition. 

The NEDA says although being aware of and concerned with the nutritional quality of the food you eat isn’t a problem, people with orthorexia become so fixated on so-called ‘healthy eating’ that they actually damage their own well-being. 

There are various warning signs and symptoms to be aware of.

A dietitian at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital says we need a well-rounded variety of foods in our diet.

“I always tell people, shoot for three food groups per meal and work your way around the plate to really insure you’re getting all those nutrients in. Restrictiveness in diet to a point of being overly obsessive can be harmful and potentially life threatening if they restrict so many things in their diet.”

The NEDA says there are currently no clinical treatments developed for orthorexia, but Krieger says one way to treat this is to seek emotional support from healthcare providers to overcome obsessive behaviors and insure optimum health.

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