Abby Normal

Teary-eyedNew Disorder
Did you that here’s a new mental illness? It’s called Nervosa Orthorexia. People who “suffer” from orthorexia are obsessed with eating organic food. According to Dr. Steven Bratman, who coined the term, orthorexia generally causes no major health problems, although it might lead to “social exclusion and alienation.”

Bratman says for some people healthy eating can become an obsession. People who suffer from ortorexia are obsessed with eating organic food, the idea of eating healthy constantly influence their life. Patients with ortorexia are trying to find a variant of optimal and healthy nutrition plan through their diet.

What’s Normal?
Remember the scene in Young Frankenstein, when Igor, the hunch-backed assistant to Dr. Frankenstein, retrieves the wrong brain from the lab. He says the brain belonged to “Abby” …Abby Normal!
Tristan is sad that Nonna isn’t “normal.”

Eating junk foods is the new normal. That’s a fact. So now those who are concerned about healthy eating are abnormal. It’s ridiculous to even consider that healthy eating is a disorder. For all but the last 60 years of human history only non-GMO, additive-free whole foods were available. But there it is. If you are “overly concerned” with healthy foods today, you are ill.

The healthy eating obsession is defined as “…rigid rules around eating. Refusing to touch sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, gluten, yeast, soy, corn and dairy foods. Any foods that have come into contact with pesticides, herbicides or contain artificial additives are also out.”

Having so many rules about which foods are healthy may have unexpected results. Bratman says the obsession about which foods are “good” and which are “bad” means orthorexics can end up “malnourished.” How he gets from eating organic food to malnourished, is a real stretch.

Bratman says most of his clients who are orthorexic are healthy and have no major health problems. So he makes up a disorder for them, because he worries that a orthorexic person might become isolated. Perhaps he should be concerned about the cat lady with 200 cats. She’s isolated. No one will come into her smelly house. How about the man, who can’t leave his room, because he’s too fat to get through the door. He needs help, not the person trying to get or remain healthy.

Healthy Foods Fixation
Can anything become an obsession? Yes, of course. If eating healthy keeps you inside your home, then it’s a fear. I don’t know anyone who won’t occasionally eat out. Frankly, I can’t afford to eat out a lot. I don’t have the government option of printing more money when I spend it all in restaurants.

People are anxious because our food supply has dramatically changed. It takes a scientist to figure out what’s in it. The FDA is no help at all, because they approved all the chemicals present in our food. Not only that, most produce, unless you purchase organic, has been genetically modified. Allergies have dramatically increased in the last few years. This is directly related to our new toxic food loaded with artificial ingredients and GMOs.

According to Bratman, people who avoid entire food groups, have a mental disorder. The truth is that it’s usually a health disorder, not mental. Today, because of tampering with food, many people, including children cannot tolerate milk or wheat or eggs. Sometimes it can be life-threatening.

Bratman didn’t do us any favors making up a new disorder. People who know nothing about our food supply, will only use this diagnosis to affirm their bad choices and demonize the rest of us. In the long run, as a nation we will be worse off because of Bratman’s new disorder.

My name must be Abby…Abby Normal. I guess, they’ll be coming for me next. Will you come to see me on visiting day? I hate to be isolated.

For a synopsis of Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater, Click Here.

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