English Composition 1
June 3, 2013
Ever think that eating too healthy could actually turn into being unhealthy? A new eating disorder has recently been in the news called orthorexia. “Orthorexia is a relatively new term for a disorder where a person becomes obsessed with the “perfect diet” and the cleanliness of food, eating on a highly regulated regime,” states Eat Right Magazine writer, Erin Sund. The intention of eating healthy starts off well, but then after time orthorexics start to over limit their diet and create unhealthy habits. Orthorexia is a serious and dangerous disease that people need to become aware of.
Many ask, how can eating healthy becomes unhealthy? Being aware and caring about what one fuels one’s body with is a great thing and is in fact very important, but when it turns into an obsession and a hunt for perfection, one can do permanent damage to one’s body on several levels. A very restrictive diet means one may miss out on nutrients one’s body needs. While orthorexic persons might think they are eating healthy and living a good lifestyle, they are actually just hurting themselves. Orthorexia creates a lot of stress and affects many of the body’s hormones as well. "Orthorexia starts out with a true intention of wanting to be healthier, but it's taken to an extreme," says Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Marjorie Nolan, MS, RDN, CDN, ACSM-HFS, who specializes in working with eating disorder clients.
Not only is this disease harmful to one’s body but also to the way one lives on a daily basis. Sharing a meal is one of the key ways we socialize and bond in society. However, for people suffering from orthorexia, a family meal can seem like a minefield. Going out to eat can cause much anxiety, and orthorexics start to make excuses and find ways to get out of it. "If someone is experiencing a lot of anxiety around food because they're not eating what they think they should be, or the amount they should be, that could be a sign of orthorexia," says Nolan. Someone suffering from orthorexia likely doesn't enjoy food in the same way that someone with a healthy relationship with food does. Orthorexics only feel safe preparing their own food and knowing exactly what goes into their food. One might start missing out on social events and gatherings because of this disease; instead they rather stay at home where they feel safe.
Orthorexia is a serious disordered eating pattern that can have grave mental and physical health consequences, and people suffering from it need professional help. Orthorexics often harbor misunderstandings about food or nutrition. "People with eating disorders know a lot about food, and food science," says Nolan. "But they don't always have accurate information. Sometimes their sources are magazines and blogs that might not be reputable." It is a disease that can truly isolate and prevent someone from living his or her life happily.
The main purpose of this article is to draw awareness to the reader about this eating disorder that so many people deal with day in and day out. Dr. Nolan wants to get people’s attention so that if they know someone that is struggling with orthorexia they can advise them to get help. The article has a referential purpose, and is informative. The focus of the referential purpose is on factual information. In its two main forms, the referential purpose is used to present factual information or to draw logical conclusions based on those facts, which Nolan does throughout the article. Having the purpose be referential, the article educates the audiences on facts presented by the author. For example, Nolan opens the article defining exactly what orthorexia…