'Orthorexia' vying for classification as mental disorder as more people become obsessed with 'clean eating'

Is an obsession with “clean eating” a bona fide mental disorder deserving of its own diagnosis in psychiatry’s official manual of mental illness?

A flurry of new studies and reviews is breathing new life into so-called orthorexia nervosa, loosely defined as a pathological fixation on eating “pure” foods. At its extreme, adherents shun all sugar, all carbs, all dairy, all meat and animal products, gluten, starch, pesticides, herbicides — anything that isn’t natural, organic or “clean.”

Workshops and online interventions provide support for parents of anorexia patients

In a pilot projected at the University Clinic for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of MedUni Wien and AKH Wien, parents of anorexia patients were familiarized with the illness in the form of workshops and an online intervention and introduced to skills for the interaction with their children in order to promote healing. The scientific evaluation showed the clear and lasting reduction of the psychological stress within the family affected by the eating disorder. The results are now presented during the largest European Child Psychiatry Congress (30 June to 2 July) in Vienna.

Taking Our Place at the Table as Citizen Scientists and Clinicians

By S. Bryn Austin

Imagine a world where girls, boys, and children of all genders believe in themselves. A world where they are willing to speak up to share their ideas, speak out when they see something unfair, and step in to lead to make positive change in their communities and lives.

Who’s Considered Thin Enough for Eating Disorder Treatment?

Shira Rose and I are eating avocado toast at a Bluestone Lane in midtown Manhattan. Or rather, I’m eating avocado toast and Rose is looking for her phone. “I need to take a picture,” she says. Rose is a well-known body positive style blogger and influencer, but this photo isn’t for the ’gram; at least, not entirely. After she eats everything but a few crusts, Rose needs to text a photo of her empty plate to her dietitian — to prove she’s eating.

3 Mindful Self-Compassion Tools for Eating Disorder Recovery

Can you relate to that hypercritical voice in your head? You know, the one that pops up at the most inconvenient moments to remind you of past failures and the likelihood of future ones? That perfectionistic voice that is never satisfied, never content, always pushing for an unachievable standard, or coaxing you to quit before you fail. In someone with an eating disorder, that inner critic carries a megaphone and the voice of the eating disorder, and the inner critic is often the same.

5 Tips for Helping Kids Develop a Healthy Relationship with Food

As a therapist working with individuals who are struggling as well as a parent of young children, I think a lot about how to help kids develop a healthy relationship with food. By healthy, I mean balanced, flexible, and peaceful. Here are five tips that I have found to be helpful in this aim:
 

Q&A About Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Study

Dr. Cindy Bulik discusses the new landmark findings on the genetics of anorexia nervosa.

‘Incredibly concerning’: More teens are trying to lose weight

Despite growing awareness around body positivity, new research has found more American teenagers are dieting today than in the past — especially young women.

From 2013 to 2016, nearly 38 per cent of adolescents between the ages of 16 and 19 said they had tried to lose weight during the past year, according to new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics.

This number is up from previous years, as around 24 per cent of U.S. adolescents attempted to lose weight between 2009 and 2010.

Scientists have found that anorexia is linked to metabolism

The way we treat anorexia may be changing, thanks to a new study linking the illness to metabolism.

The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Genetics, examined the DNA of almost 17,000 people with anorexia nervosa and 55,000 healthy control subjects.

Genetic study reveals metabolic origins of anorexia

A global study, led by researchers at King's College London and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, suggests that anorexia nervosa is at least partly a metabolic disorder, and not purely psychiatric as previously thought. The research was published in Nature Genetics today.

The large-scale genome-wide association study, undertaken by over 100 academics worldwide, identified eight genetic variants linked to anorexia nervosa. The results suggest that the genetic origins of the disorder are both metabolic and psychiatric.

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