What is the most common food obsession disorder found in adults?

Orthorexia Nervosa is a psychological disorder that essentially represents obsessive behavior involving a nutritious diet. The patients often experience symptoms of anxiety disorders, disturbances, confusion and obsession. A person with this disease is mostly found to be obsessed about healthy diet, rather than maintaining an ideal body weight. This food obsession disorder is most common in women who fixate on eating foods that provides her a feeling of being pure and healthy. While the medical community at large is still amid research to determine why this happens, treatment is widely available through counseling and guidance.

An Orthorexic may refuse numerous meals which have artificial coloring essence, flavors or preservative agent, added pesticides or genetic modified foods, Trans- fat, complex sugar or salty items, animal products or milk and milk products and other components considered to be unhealthy or impure. A patient of Orthorexia Nervosa may suffer from serious behavioral changes too.

9 symptoms of an obsession food disorder include:

  1. Excessive obsession over the relationship between food and health concerns such as digestive disorders, asthma, low mood, allergies, anxiety
  2. Refusing most of the foods considering they will trigger allergies
  3. Noticeable increase in consumption of probiotics, supplements or herbal remedies
  4. Drastic reduction in advices of having food choices
  5. Irrational concern over food processing techniques, especially cleaning of food or sterilization of the utensils
  6. An Orthorexic patient with obsessive food disorder is prone to develop several emotional disorders. They tend to suffer from feelings of guilt if and when deviate from a strict diet guidelines and modification
  7. Fear that having food at any place other than home might get into the way of her dietary regime
  8. Feelings of distancing themselves from those who do not share similar views about food consumption
  9. Chronic depression, anxiety or mood swings

How to treat obsessive food disorders in people?

Treatment for overcoming Orthorexia Nervosa begins when the patient acknowledges that a problem exists. However, the treatment starts with restoring balance and moderation to life. In cases where the true malnutrition problem is involved, patients are highly recommended to emphasize on getting proper nutrition in the first place. Additionally, any medical conditions that have probably formed as a result of the severe malnutrition must be treated. As part of the treatment plan, the patient must be instructed about the requirement of protein, calories, vitamins, elements and minerals necessary for a healthy body development. You can consult a dietician for your calorie needs.

  • The next stage of the treatment mainly involves anxiety problem, issues with self-esteem and perfectionism factors, and other associated problems that the person with Orthorexia Nervosa has been so far attempting to overcome through food alone. Recovery includes knowing an expanded range of coping strategies and developing some knowledge outside of food and nutrition.
  • Professional nutritionist can help them to follow a healthy diet that is more balanced and ideal. In addition, psychologists and psychotherapists must be involved in the process to provide them proper counseling. A residential treatment program can be more effective as it will help them developing a proper bonding with healthy and nutritious food.