Eric van Furth is the expert on eating disorders common to Dutch society. His talk focused on the scale of normal, weird and disorderly behavior in relation to eating. And posed questions such as, When is behavior not normal? And when is it a disorder? Further, what is Orthorexia – the unclassified ‘disorder’ of an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating?
“I choose to eat what makes me happy. That, I wish to all, and to that I toast”
Warm, open and filled with humor, Eric took the stage to explain the basics of dieting. He explained that a diet often begins with a desire to be/look/feel thinner, but in the process the reverse occurs. We often feel fatter. While dieting gives people control, it evokes a sense of being out of control. And as a result, it drives an obsession with food.
Food trends fill our social media, news outlets and daily thoughts. “Avocados outsell oranges!”
Health foods have gone from hype, to trend, to common culture. And what concerns Eric is that many bloggers, who write about food, health and diets usually have no education on their topic. Unfortunately, the health food trend has become, for some, a disorder.
Orthorexia Nervosa. What is it? Simply put: An individual with an obsession for healthy food. The focus is to become healthy, not thin. There is a fine line between an obsession and a disorder. As Eric shares, ‘An obsession is about making choices.’
Choices determine our behavior, and -- obviously -- you have to make well informed ones. But it seems we have to choose between reality and religion when it comes to food and health. Which poses the question: How do we make our choices?
Missed the event but still want to see Eric’s talk? Check out his TEDtalk here!