Orthorexia In The News

I got into reading about nutrition for fun when I was a teenager. I started off with the pop diet and nutrition books found in the local mall. I remember, from all of those years ago, a book called “Are You Confused?” by Paavlo Airola. The rhetorical question from his title was referring to the cacophony of contradictory nutrition advice in popular books. He wrote that if someone was to adhere to each rule from all of those systems that person wouldn’t eat any food at all.

It looks like there are some people that do that.

Its called orthorexia, a term for a new eating disorder. Orthorexia is about being obsessive with rules for healthy eating( true or not ) to the point where adherence to those rules starts destroying your health or taking over your life.

I found this interesting piece from ABC New’s “20/20” with John Stossel on youtube.

I wasn’t 100% comfortable with John Stossel confronting one of these nutrition folklore gurus ( part 2, 5:20 ), Viktoras Kulvinskas, in a harsh way, but part of me felt like what Stossel said had to be said. You will see that this particular guru looks like anything but the picture of health, yet he preaches his system with an almost religious-like fervor. Stossel stopped him in the middle of the conversation, pointed out that he was only 8 years older than Stossel, but looked several decades older.

I felt really bad for the recovering orthorexics interviewed. I was amazed that people could be that thin and still be alive. I felt badly for them.

Part 1

Part 2

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