Orthorexia: how did proper nutrition become a disease?

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At age eleven, I listened with interest to the quiet conversations of my mother with her 24-year-old sister. She first quickly lost weight, and then began to go to the doctors. The gynecologist and endocrinologist constantly remembered those overheard conversations … My aunt lost weight from starvation for the sake of beauty. And to doctors often – to restore the monthly cycle disturbed by the hunger strike. 

As I understand it, my aunt at that moment suffered from anorexia – and she should first be treated by a psychiatrist. This is the learned word “anorexia” the mass consciousness has mastered for a long time. And it connects the concept more and more with the modeling business. Only anorectic professional is able to meet the conditions of the hanger for fashionable clothes …  

Anorexia – refusal of food, starvation. How many among my friends girls are those who are constantly “losing weight”! It is good that for a long time they are not enough. “What a commission, creator, to be an adult daughter’s father!” Famusov would know , what today’s adult daughters are thinking of!   

However, now, at the beginning of the XXI century, Famusov himself, quite possibly, would be a victim of another disease – the disease of proper nutrition. Among the aging gentlemen (by the way, the lady, too) there are not so few who care about health, wholeheartedly devoting themselves to the ideas of proper nutrition.  

Often this concern for health, for healthy food, the obsessive desire to eat “within” is almost a religious cult. Or illness!  

Stephen Bratman, MD, identified this condition as a disease in 1997. And he called it – orthorexia . And he came to the understanding that proper nutrition can be not only a cause, but also a manifestation of the disease, from his own experience. At some point, he realized that his personal commitment to proper nutrition was pathological. What then, many in the science of man was discovered just such a way.   

It was not by chance that I remembered Famusov here. Women have always been preoccupied with their beauty. Lose weight – if it was necessary to lose weight, get fat – if it became fashion. They dyed, pulled on corsets, laid bare … Men , for centuries, have been quite conservative in relation to themselves.   

Famusov is a man in years with adult children. Modern Famusov is not an old man, but not a boy. Modern men’s fashion requires being young. At some point (someone – over 35, someone – over 50, who really had to enter the so-called midlife crisis), our hero suddenly realizes that the main thing that leaves him is youth, strength and health .      

Here he is ready to become a victim of orthorexia. It is one thing when the doctor recommends quitting smoking, drinking, fatty / sweet / salty. And another thing – when a person decides for himself: from this day I count calories, refuse fat and carbohydrates, salt and sugar … And I turn to chewing seedlings (oats, rye, beans, wheat – what are they now chewing?).  

He plagues himself – rejection of his beloved food, planning a diet, eating by the clock. He plagues others – showing disapproval of their eating style, teaching, preaching. “ Twenty-four chewing movements for every spoon !!!” What a commission, creator, to be the adult daughter of an orthoretic!   

However, what can we only talk about men. Among the young beauties of “ten” there are also enough of these “preoccupied” ones. In general, it turns out that they live – only in order to think about food all the time, to determine whether it is right or wrong. 

There is one thing that unites all orthorectics: they do not recognize their passion for proper nutrition as painful. According to doctors, the cure should begin with this – with the realization that you are sick. 

The truth, of course , is not somewhere nearby; it is in the golden mean. No need to make a cult of food, as another literary man, Ostap Bender, said. Food can give pleasure – delicious, beautiful food, favorite treats.   

Food should give joy. Satisfy hunger and please the soul. After all, we eat – to live, and not vice versa. 

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