Is Social Media Creating An Eating Disorder? The Rise of Orthorexia
by N/A, 9 years ago |
8 min read
With an abundance of food bloggers on social media seemingly living the ideal, healthy and balanced life raises the question.. are they actually promoting a healthy lifestyle? The rise of new eating disorder, orthorexia nervosa, has become widespread amongst millennials who are taking tips from their favorite bloggers. The results are actually horrifying.
Log onto Instagram, and you're guaranteed to see pictures of healthy food flooding your feed. While eating healthy is vital, eating too healthy can be extremely problematic.
An eating disorder called Orthorexia Nervosa, a "righteous fixation on eating healthy," is sadly plaguing individuals who become obsessed with consuming healthy food. And often, posting it on social media.
Many individuals follow their favorite food bloggers on social media for recipes and dieting tips... however, the problem with this is that oftentimes these bloggers are not dietitians or nutritionists. Therefore, are they really advertising a "healthy" lifestyle?
Jordan Younger, a former vegan food blogger, recently spoke out about her struggle with orthorexia, and how it almost killed her.
Jordan's food blog, "The Blonde Vegan," focused on her raw vegan diet and recipes, which she would share to her 100,000+ followers.
The reality is, in the middle of her 800 calorie per day juice cleanse, her lips were blue, her hair was falling out and she hadn't had her period in sixth months due to vitamin deficiency.
"The obsession with my diet took up every waking hour," the blogger, 25, now admits. "It was stopping me from leading a normal life."
Psychiatrists believe that orthorexia is a form of anorexia or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
People with orthorexia become preoccupied with food and how their body looks. They are often searching for control, much like people who suffer from OCD. As a result, it impacts their mental and physical state, and is oftentimes anxiety-inducing.
"It's an obsessive-compulsive problem," says clinical psychologist Angelique A. Sallas. "The object of the obsession is less relevant than the fact that they are engaging in obsessive behavior."
Jordan's new book, "Breaking Vegan" chronicles her journey to overcoming the disorder and her fear of refined sugar.
While doctors don't yet recognize orthorexia as an official diagnosis, they do believe that social media is promoting this unhealthy behavior.
“A lot of it is wonderful food photography," Steven Bratman, a doctor who coined the term said. I think this type of media is definitely causing orthorexia to reach a larger audience and a younger audience.”
"Food fuels us; we should enjoy it, and we shouldn't let it get in the way of our lives," Jordan writes.
To hear more about Jordan's journey, you can check out her blog and buy her book here.