When does healthy eating becomes an unhealthy obsession?
You might say what’s wrong with the desire to eat healthily. But there can be a fine line between eating a whole range of foods deemed healthy to eating nothing but! When this becomes a bit of an obsession, called orthorexia, it can get dangerous. For many who go down this road, they can end up omitting food types from their diet, making the diet unbalanced and causing deficiencies down the line.
What is our responsibility as professionals to prevent orthorexia?
I believe as a health professional that many well-meaning parent, teachers and doctors are passing on their beliefs about unhealthy foods to children and this could lead to eating disorders. In our society food is constant dilemma for people, but we must remember, eating should not make us feel guilty or be labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’. It sounds like such a cliché but certainly parents should be teaching their children about moderation.
As qualified dietitians, we try to teach our clients the value of all foods that can help people forge a healthy relationship with eating and help prevent people from taking their diet to a potentially dangerous extreme.