WIN Wyoming

Thought Bullets
June 2005

Orthorexia Nervosa

Every year it seems like it gets harder to plan a meal when you invite several guests over for dinner.  One person only eats certain meats, someone else doesn’t eat meat at all, and yet someone else can’t even fathom the idea of a meatless meal.  (Just a side note – most of the people I know with the last name of Holmes who live in Wyoming fall into the last category.) This is a far cry from the days of our ancestors when food was often scarce and no one ever worried about the food preferences of others when it was time to eat.  Sylvia Moore, Director of the WWAMI Medical Education program at the University of Wyoming, shared with me an article on orthorexia nervosa.  The term refers to an unhealthy fixation with the health value and purity of food and was coined by Dr. Steven Bratman, a physician from Colorado.  After reading the article, I thought of a couple individuals I’ve met over the years that may very well have been suffering from this serious disorder.  The article made me realize I may have been too quick to judge someone as a “very finicky eater” when in reality, the person may have been struggling with a serious eating disorder.  


Compiled by Betty Holmes, MS, RD

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