Orthorexia Nervosa: An Overlooked Eating Disorder

Karol Arevalo ‘23, Contributing Writer

What is Orthorexia Nervosa? Orthorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder with the obsession of having a healthy lifestyle is taken to the extreme. A minimum of 30 million people in the U.S alone struggle with different types of eating disorders. 

Orthorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder that many people don’t hear about as much as other eating disorders. Eating disorders, in general, are not talked about enough, but orthorexia is one of the least mentioned ones in society. People who suffer from Orthorexia are fixated on the quality of their food whereas someone with another type of eating disorder would be fixated on the quantity of the food. 

The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders states that orthorexia causes people to have sudden fears of certain foods because they don’t fit into what is the “healthy lifestyle” they wish to pursue. People who have this unhealthy obsession of wanting to succeed in being their “healthiest,” lead to having their social life, personal well-being, and work ethnic be affected. Orthorexia is a daily struggle that many people struggle with on a day to day basis and sometimes may not realize as they think it’s good to be “too healthy.” 

Freshman Alixe Cecchini comments, “People who go through this may struggle with it a lot, they should be more educated on it and know that they have a safe environment where they aren’t judged. That they should tell someone they trust, especially because this affects your mental state and your social life greatly. When you grow up it can affect you in your life and hold you back from things as well. It’s so important to have a place to vent out to where you feel safe.”

Some people suffer from different aspects of Orthorexia. For example, some people may focus a lot of exercising while others focus more on  eating healthy. What people may not realize or want to accept is that there is a certain limit into which something can become an unhealthy obsession making your mental health come to a low point. If someone is struggling with an eating disorder of any sort, it’s best they reach out for help before they get further trapped in their own toxic mindset.

Freshman Vaishnavi Desai reflects,  “I think it’s something that people might not consider as a big deal but it is important and should be brought out to today’s society. Many people think that they need to look a certain way to fit in and that can lead to unhealthy life decisions which can lead to eating disorders such as orthorexia nervosa. People should be educated about it as it’s not something that people think about, they tend to ignore it and not realize the actual importance behind it.”

Works Cited

ANAD. National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders., anad.org/education-and-awareness/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/. Accessed 10 Oct. 2019.

Fernández, María Laura Parra. “PMC.” NCBI, USA.gov, 13 Nov. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6234674/. Accessed 10 Oct. 2019.