Just put down that kale and slowly back away, people. A recent study claims that eating those greens and other healthy foods as a regular diet could be a medical disorder. And there are quite a few “clinics” cashing in on it, offering everything from horseback riding to drive-thru window drills as therapy.
That’s right – a psychologist and four psychiatrists recently published a study they title “Microthinking About Micronutrients,” diagnosing such diet devotees with the term “orthorexia nervosa.”
This isn’t like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, though, each of which is a condition recognized by and defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and both have known negative results. But, while those diagnoses are based on poor health that results from diets based on volume, orthorexia is only based on quality of foods. And is an “obsession for biologically pure and healthy nutrition” really all that bad?
The doctors, actively seeking the term’s separate inclusion as a new diagnosis, claim that it can be. And if your diet is restricted only to the turnip greens you grow in your bathtub, well … okay. That could certainly be coo-coo. But is avoiding chemical preservatives and GMOs really some kind of health problem?
Well, that’s what some resort-style rehab clinics want you to think. They’re jumping in the game of this new and faddish diagnosis. And they want you to pay them big bucks to help you reform from this apparently common and quite rampant disorder. Note this description of orthorexia by one such residential treatment center:
(One with orthorexia) will fixate on eating foods that give her a feeling of being pure and healthy. An orthorexic may avoid numerous foods, including those made with:
- Artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
- Pesticides or genetic modification
- Fat, sugar or salt
- Animal or dairy products
- Other ingredients considered to be unhealthy
Of course, restricting the direction of your diet to healthier avenues is horrible, isn’t it? And how can you tell if one has this “disorder?” Simple – just watch for:
Increasing avoidance of foods because of food allergies
Another clinic offers this self-diagnosis tip:
(You) buy local organic produce that’s prepared with minimal pesticides or herbicides.
Folks who delve into the unhealthy healthy activities of dance or athletics, this clinic says:
may be more likely to develop orthorexia because of their natural focus on health.
Your inheritance money will be well-spent at these facilities, too. For example, another group’s three eating disorder “clinics” feature remedies of equine therapy and expressive art therapy, along with hands-on reiki. And to keep you from focusing all visual attention on healthy foods, it also offers eye-movement desensitization therapy.
Another offers dance classes as in-patient therapy to rid your mind of those evil, healthy foods. And don’t worry – another clinic advertising treatment for that natural-food-only diet promises the chemical-packed medications of Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Luvox to get you through.
Of course, if you can’t afford these exotic clinics, that probably means you can’t afford the high cost of most organic foods anyway. So just do like the authors of this study and those clinics would apparently rather you do: Hit the 99¢ menu at Wendy’s.