CAN EATING “TOO” HEALTHY LEAD TO AN EATING DISORDER?
Eating is a huge part of our lives. It’s a necessity for us to survive. The pressure to eat healthy nowadays is growing more than ever before. Social Media is now spiked with health & wellness influencers showcasing their beautiful “perfect” bodies. Health and the idea of becoming the best version of ourselves is taking a whole new level. But, when is eating healthy or biohacking your body gone too far?
First of all, let’s start with explaining what biohacking means.
WHAT IS BIOHACKING?
Biohacking is a way to optimize your body’s functions by making lifestyle changes. Some strategies of biohacking are:
- Elimination Diets
- Calorie restriction
- Getting more sleep
- Breathing exercises
- Standing more
Is there really an eating disorder caused from the intention of eating healthy?
WHAT IS ORTHOREXIA?
Orthorexia is when someone becomes so obsessed with clean living that it takes control of their life and mind and it makes them sick. For example by restricting themselves from certain foods and only eating things that are deemed healthy in their eyes. This disorder can be described as “healthy eating, gone wrong”. Fasting can be a gateway into an eating disorder.
A YOUNG GIRL AFFECTED BY SOCIAL MEDIA
Young girls are taking eating healthy to an extreme especially after seeing so much content on Instagram promoting being healthy and what kind of foods they should be eating. She was so obsessed with what she was putting into her body, that it got to the point where she stopped eating altogether. It started innocently by just cutting out white bread and rice and then the skinnier she got, the less she started eating. When she was losing weight she started getting more likes and comments on social media and people were applauding her new look. It all started with just wanting to eat healthy but later turned into a very dangerous eating disorder. It got to the point where her parents were force feeding her daily while she would cry and scream just to keep her alive. Eventually, she was hospitalized.
People are seeing beautiful women with bodies that in their eyes are perfect with comments on what they are eating and how they got the body they now have. Now more than ever people are feeling the pressure of looking good not only for themselves but for social media.
THE POSSIBLE DANGER OF HEALTH & WELLNESS INFLUENCERS
We are taking advice from influencers that sometimes have no nutritional expertise or background besides what is working the best for them personally. They are basing their diets off of their own research and their lifestyle choices. It’s a concern of wellness warriors who are promoting how people should eat, drink and live their daily lives to be healthy and lose weight but a lot of the time have no medical or nutritional background training. It’s extremely important for influencers to state that they are only sharing their personal experience and what works for them and that people should be careful when trying it out themselves.
Loni Jane got really sick and she changed her diet to a plant-based, gluten-free diet. It made her healthier and she was able to make a business out of it. Loni feels like she is doing good and people applaud her and thank her for sharing her experience and ways to eat.
Another girl who started the Blonde Vegan (Jordan Younger) was juicing 30 days in a row and becoming very weak. She started having hormone imbalances, skin turned orange, stomach ulcer, leaky gut and more. She states that there’s a scary and cult-like side to plant-based vegan, healthy eating. She developed Orthorexia after taking her veganism to extremes.
Influencers need to be careful with what they are selling and promoting to people on health & wellness. Viewers as well need to take into consideration their own research and the differences in their own bodies. There can be more long term psychological effects than just the physical effects of losing weight.
It’s important to be aware of the fact that too much of anything can be harmful. This way you can prevent it from ever happening to you or the people around you in this craze of health and wellness.
*Some information found on 60 Minutes Australia. Watch the interview here. 4
Article by Katie Chaplin