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Understanding Eating Disorders: What is Orthorexia?

Written by O'Connor Professional Group
Published on September 29, 2020

The true definition of orthorexia is an eating disorder characterized by being obsessed with “healthful eating”. Since we think of ‘healthy eating’ as something positive, it can be hard to tell the difference between healthy behaviors and an eating disorder. It is okay to want to eat healthy and to be concerned with the nutritional value of food. Being aware of what you are putting into your body is not the issue; people with orthorexia become so fixated on their body’s intake that it becomes an unhealthy obsession that can lead to damaging their own well-being.

Warning Signs of Orthorexia:

  • Compulsive checking of the ingredients and nutritional labels on food
  • An increase in concern on the health of different ingredients
  • Cutting out large numbers of food groups (e.g., carbs, sugars)
  • Not being able to eat anything that is not considered “healthy”
  • Unusual interest in what other people are consuming
  • Spending an unreasonable amount of time thinking about what food will be served at upcoming events
  • Showing signs of stress when “healthy” foods are not available
  • Obsessing over social media platforms about “heathy eating”
  • Body image concerns may not be present

Health Complications Because of Orthorexia

Since there is a restriction on the intake of different food that may be consumed, orthorexia can lead to malnutrition. This can lead to many of the same physical consequences as anorexia. If you or someone you know fits this description, receiving help is extremely important.



O’Connor Professional Group has a group of professionals who are experts on eating disorders and can be here to help. You can reach us by our number, (617) 910-3940 so we can get you the help that you need.

Please note: Services at O’Connor Professional group are self-pay and do not take insurance. However, the facilities and professionals we help our clients with often do, and we make our best efforts to find you care that works with your insurance.

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