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Stigmatizing Health: The War Against 'Health Nuts'

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Healthy-eating disorder. Yes, you heard right, healthy-eating disorder. In its insatiable quest to create a mental problem or syndrome out of every human phenomenon and activity, the psychiatric industry has fabricated their most ridiculous disorder yet: 'orthorexia nervosa' which in Latin translates to "nervous about correct eating." Named by California doctor, Steven Bratman in 1997, this latest in a long line of left of center syndromes is no laughing matter. While not an entirely new syndrome, it has had new life breathed into it.

According to The Guardian newspaper, if you place your focus on eating healthy foods, you are mentally distressed and most likely in need of some treatment that involves pharmaceuticals, like psychotropic drugs. The theory is that fixation with healthy eating can be a sign of a serious psychological disorder. Huh?

Instead of calling this new syndrome "nervous about healthy eating disorder," which just sounds stupid (oh, wait, it is stupid), the geniuses that define mental health gave it a Latin name so it sounds authentically like a disease and not the made up delusional rantings of a pharmaceutical-driven industry that relies on us being weak, fat, sick and in fear of mental disease.

The Guardian goes on to say that "orthorexics" (official name for those of us afflicted with the idea that we would like to choose healthy foods so we can avoid illness) have rigid guidelines around eating. For instance, an orthorexic may eliminate sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, gluten, yeast, soy products, corn, meat and/or dairy products from their diets. And that's just the beginning, according to experts. These same "whackos" may also avoid foods that contain pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, steroids or anything artificial. Wow, they sure sound crazy to me (she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm).

So according to this psycho-babble, attempting to avoid chemicals, saturated fat, sugar and anything artificial qualifies you as a mental patient. Taking care of your body by making healthy food choices and avoiding processed and other foods that steal your health tells society that there's something wrong with you. Really?

This goes along with that old cliché that calls these very same people "health nuts." You know the ones: the screwballs who exercise, eat right and live a natural life so they can avoid the lifestyle diseases that are killing Americans in record numbers.

What does that say about the rest of society? You know, the people who choose to be couch potatoes and shove junk food down their gullets. Are they "sickness nuts?" Funny how we've never turned that term into a cliché. Eating junk food, living on processed food-like substances is normal. The mental patients are the ones who choose organic, natural, whole foods. Am I the only one who sees how off the mark this is?

But okay, I won't go all Tom Cruise on you, saying that psychiatry is hooey and not needed. And certainly, there are real and life-threatening eating disorders that are yet another plague on our modern culture. Disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia require treatment and our serious attention.

This is not about those people. This is yet another assault on health-conscious consumers to set us apart from society and marginalize our efforts to maintain healthy, vital and productive lives. To declare healthy eaters as mentally unstable is part of the agenda to keep the status quo: the special interests will click along, buying labeling laws so manufacturers can continue to peddle the swill that robs us of our collective health.

According to The Guardian, mental health experts have even gone to the extremes of saying that the obsession about which foods are "good" and "bad" means that orthorexics can end up being malnourished. Again, in the case of other mental problems, like anorexia, this thinking can be just another excuse for not eating. But that's not who this article is talking about.

Let's try to follow the logic on this one, if you can call it that. Eating healthy foods that are beneficial to health can cause malnutrition. But the foods that every expert advises us to avoid: junk food, processed food, soda, etc. is assumed, by this line of thinking, to provide us with all the nutrients we need to build strong bodies and vital health.

This is, I must say, about as crazy a line of thought as I have ever heard. And I have heard some doozies. No wonder we have completely preventable diseases striking us down in record numbers. We are being told that eating healthy food is a sign of mental disease that can cause malnutrition.

What's really going on here? The truth shouldn't surprise you really. With all the discussion and focus on health and the role food plays in keeping or destroying our vitality, special interests, big pharma and conventional medicine have to figure out a way to marginalize healthy eating and living. How would they continue to thrive if everyone chose healthy food and did not need them as much?

They want us to stop questioning and rocking the boat. They want us to shut up and chow down on processed foods that make a lot of money for them and deliver nothing but disease and death to us. They prefer that we stop reading labels and asking what is in our food. They want to keep the dollars flowing from stuffed crust pizza, soda, candy, sugared cereals, burgers, fries and fried chicken in a bucket.

The best way to achieve that? Question the sanity of people looking at the health properties of the food they are eating. Tell society that people who think about what they put in their bodies are "obsessed" and "weird" -- maybe even sick. Broadcast that message loud and clear and things will stay just as they are. We'll stay sick, fat, weak, unable to compete on the world stage and reliant on pharmaceuticals to simulate health and wellness. We'll remain easy to manipulate because we lack the fortitude and clarity of thinking needed to create change. We won't question. We'll trudge along, compliant, numbed and docile, never questioning the actions of those in positions of authority who continue to lead them down the path of destruction with their food choices.

People that choose healthy food and exercise tend to think for themselves and question conventional wisdom as they see different results in their health. When you eat food with its nutrients intact, your mind and body are awakened to a different reality. You are excited by change and open to new ideas and possibilities. You are conscious of nutrition and work toward ensuring you get the nutrients you need.

This is very bad news for those who run our consumption-driven society. Blind over-consumption relies on ignorance and compliance combined with suggestibility. If we want people to keep buying stuff they don't need or even want, eating fast food and junk food and taking pills when they inevitably get sick, then they need to have their brains turned to mush. And there's nothing better for that job than processed food and television ads.

We live in a world where it's normal to be more like the walking dead than a fully functioning human, but that doesn't mean it's truly normal. We have had our health and our senses hijacked by food manufacturers who develop designer chemicals to keep us eating what they are selling. Dr. Dean Ornish said it best when he said that it's considered radical to ask people to dramatically change their diets and adopt a healthy, plant-based diet, but not considered radical to crack open their chests and perform heart surgery.

In the end, if you want to be alive, aware and in control of your health and destiny, eat more healthy foods that have been kissed by the sun, earth, air and water. Whole natural foods will give you most of the nutrients you need to function as a healthy, vital human. You will reduce your risk of lifestyle diseases; increase your energy; open your mind to reality without a chemical fog clouding your thinking and you will most likely be of normal weight.

In truth, healthy humans are the norm. It is our modern society and its obsession with profit that has compromised us to the point that illness is the new normal. And choosing health is crazy. Wow.