Clean eating getting in your way? Is food getting in your way?
As physicians, we naturally want our patients to make mindful choices around nutrition and exercise in order to take care of their bodies. Sometimes, though, when making an effort to be “healthy,” patients may become overly focused on eating the “right” types of food. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics defines “Orthorexia” as an unhealthy fixation on eating “healthy” or “pure” foods, leading to eating only within a narrow range of foods, and is considered a form of an eating disorder. In some circumstances, this extreme focus on a limited diet may lead to nutritional deficiencies and medical complications.
If you or someone you know has become preoccupied with “healthy” food and nutrition, it is helpful to take a step back and consider whether or not the risks of rigid eating outweigh the presumed health benefits. We at AYAM are experts at identifying when our patients have developed a diet that is problematic, both physically and emotionally. We also understand that our teen and young adult patients are under enormous social pressures, and we work with them to become more flexible in their eating habits in the setting of their daily routines. We offer an individualized approach to nutrition and healthcare and often partner with other professionals, such as registered dietitians, to ensure our patients’ wellness.