So, my last commentary on Orthorexia, which Women’s Health magazine touts as the new generation of Eating Disorders got me going. Could really keep going about it, but I’ll spare you. I think you all get the ludicrous connotations involved there. By the way, would I be crass to get a t-shirt (made of hemp) with “I’m an Orthorexic” on the front? Probably. I digress. Anyway, though I have learned to take much of what he says with a grain of salt, I was particularly amused and intrigued by Dr. Weil’s Daily Tip of the Day:
Everyone prefers some foods over others,but some adults take this to an extreme. These people tend to prefer the kinds of bland food they may have enjoyed as children – such as plain or buttered pasta, macaroni and cheese, cheese pizza, French fries and grilled cheese sandwiches – and to restrict their eating to just a few dishes. This condition has been dubbed selective eating disorder (SED), and may eventually be listed by the American Psychiatric Association as an officially recognized eating disorder.
Is anyone else giggling? Admittedly, I am that person that while helping you up, also laughs when you trip. Sorry! But if it’s any consolation, I laugh at myself just the same. I mean there is something a little humorous about adults whose pallets haven’t adjusted to grains, vegetables and fruits, and instead eat…things that are white. I won’t call it child food, because (says the woman with no children) I believe that even modest kids have the capacity to love colorful, mineral rich foods.
Joking aside, selective eating disorder (SED) is a symptom. It’s evidence of the American culture we live in, where sugar, fats and salt reign paramount to whole, clean food. It’s really no wonder that so many of us suffer from this disorder that there has now been a scientific label applied to it! Afterall, even socioeconomic status aside, what would any busy intersection, mall, shopping center be without endless opportunity to indulge in fries, burgers, sodas, pizzas, white bread…you name it.
Come to think of it, I feel as badly for those who are being told that because they don’t eat vegetables they have an eating disorder, as I did for myself being told because I eat “too many” vegetables, I have an eating disorder! I mean at least for me, food is my life and my hobby so I make an effort to consider every meal, and go out of my way to get good, clean food. It’s natural for me. But these other guys, with SED, they’re eating what their parents ate. They’re eating what they ate as a child, and what media and pop culture is shoving down their throats at every turn. They’re effectively doing what comes natural to them! And now all the sudden, the very system that gave them McD’s, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, is now telling them they have a problem?? The only thing I have to battle with is my local Farmer’s Market, they on the other hand have an entire industry to wage a war against!
Yes, they do have a problem, unfortunately. It’s not exactly fair, but it’s true. And labeling it is likely only the start of the potential obesity, blood pressure, blood sugar and energy issues that will surely ensue from such a limited diet. Again, not fair, but if calling it out will inspire some momentum in the opposite direction, it could be a positive thing. Who knows they could be Orthorexics before they know it!