Ashton Kutcher, an American actor, and producer recently tells the reason for being hospitalized which he called Crazy Pancreatitis. He developed Orthorexia, after Steve Jobs because he went on a fruitarian diet for playing a character at the Apple co-founder in the film Jobs of 2013.
The actor reveals the truth in an interview show “Hot Ones” that he was using carrot juice throughout the day after knowing that Jobs was also using the vegetable juice daily.
Fruitarian diets consist of mostly raw fruits and vegetables. According to this, your diet contains 75% of fruits rather than other food groups but the registered dietitians allow a person to keep fruit intake less than 50% of the diet to avoid any nutritional imbalances. By following this diet there is a high risk of malnutrition in the people.
It was the time when most Americans did not eat enough vegetables and fruits and not much conscious about their healthy eating patterns. But the story of Kutcher showed that the diet is harmful and very restrictive although it contains healthy food. This eating pattern could be a sign of a disorder called orthorexia, a widely misunderstood situation.
Orthorexia is an eating disorder
According to Ginger Hultin, a registered dietitian, owner of Champagne Nutrition and spoke person for Academy of nutrition and dietetics. It is an eating disorder related to a pathological obsessive behavior that shows itself as excessive consumption of a healthy diet. It also involves the avoidance of foods that are unhealthy.
The people especially girls suffer from anorexia nervosa. It is also an eating disorder in which people eat less amount of food or completely skip the meal to lose weight. Unlike anorexia, people with orthorexia desired to eat pure healthy food and, in this way, they put more limitations on them about unhealthy food.
It also accompanies strenuous exercise. This condition usually leads to extreme weight loss, which would ultimately require a hospitalized treatment. According to Hultin, people with orthorexia think that they can watch what they eat. They have a misconception of eating a healthy diet because they are unaware of not eating a balanced diet. Also, they are not taking enough nutrients according to their daily requirements.
Difference between healthy eating and orthorexia
There is a minor line between healthy eating and orthorexia and people usually misunderstood it. According to Turner, policy officer, and chief strategy at the National Eating Disorder Association, someone may be at the risk of developing the disease when all he eats is too healthy. People usually avoid food if it looks unhealthy to them, no matter how much hunger they are.
The diet that involves the restriction of any food group, can put someone at the risk of developing the orthorexia. Doesnt matter if it is for some health reasons or self-imposed diet. It usually includes the keto diet, clean eating, fad diet, medically prescribed diet, like a gluten-free diet for celiac patients or the vegan diet.
According to Hultin, by following the restrictive diet does not mean that a person may develop orthorexia. It happens to those who put so many limitations on them that they hardly have some options for eating food. Most of the time they want to eat the food, but their inner fear stops them from eating. This can isolate them from society in a negative way.
The doctors sometimes misdiagnosed the disease like anorexia. However, orthorexia is more common in people as compared to the anorexia.
While online searches can turn up a wealth of misinformation about which foods and diets are so-called healthy, celebrities posting on social media or talking about their eating habits can add to the confusion and misunderstanding.
People usually follow these types of diets after seeing any celebrities’ posts on social media about their dietary patterns. These online trends can inculcate the misconception in their minds. An example of Tom Brady an NFL star, who described his diet habits. He doesn’t use many things like dairy, gluten, trans and saturated fats, etc.
According to Hultin, if a diet works for one person, it doesn’t show that it will bring the same effect for the other person too. Every person has different needs according to his body. People must consult some specialists about their diet.
Turner suggests people with orthorexia eating disorder contact the NEDA helpline (1-800-931-2237) for local treatment. It often requires a professional team for treating eating disorders. The treatment is costly, and insurance may not be able to cover it completely.