Orthorexia: The Unknown Eating Disorder

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When people think of eating disorders, they may think of anorexia and bulimia. However, there is one eating disorder that people may not know about: Orthorexia.

Meet Sarah Maduas. Maduas is junior journalism major who enjoys writing, reading, and cooking. She is also the Communications Director for Temple Student Government. Maduas also battles the eating disorder known as Orthorexia.

Maduas’s battle began when she was a junior in high school where she began to take an interest in the health and fitness pages on Instagram.

“I would see all these people that just had like the perfect, skinny, like toned abs,” said Maduas.

Maduas also started to compare herself to others. She began going to the gym every night between two to three hours. She would also eat the same lunch everyday, which consist of an apple, raw vegetables, and half of a protein bar.
“It really took a toll on my sleep habits and my academic life,” Maduas said.

Dr. Eunice Chen is the Principle Director of the TED Program, which stands for Temple Eating Disorders. Chen tells us that Orthorexia often involves obsessive behaviors around dieting and what is in the food.

“Orthorexia is described as being very focused and concerned about eating often pure foods,” said Chen. “The quality of the food is very important.”

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, Orthorexia is currently not recognized in the DSM-5 and when it comes to treatment, many clinical eating disorder experts treat it as a variety of anorexia and/or obsessive compulsive disorder.

Maduas was able to receive help from a therapist. However, everyday is still a battle. Maduas discovered that she loves cycling and it’s a type of exercise she enjoys. She is even a cycling instructor now and hopes she could be an inspiration for other people and her students. She also remembers what’s most important to her as motivation.

“I think it’s really important to balance that healthy lifestyle with things that you are passionate about, and definitely eat a cookie once in awhile,” said Maduas.

If you or you know someone who maybe struggling with an eating disorder don’t hesitate to seek help at Tuttleman Counseling.

 

 

You can also learn more about Orthorexia at the following resources:

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/by-eating-disorder/other/orthorexia 

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/blog/orthorexia-a-deceptive-diet

https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/information/orthorexia-excessive-exercise/understand-orthorexia

 

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