As a naturopathic doctor that advocates for a personalized approach to dietary suggestions and honors the power of food as medicine, I’ve become very concerned with how practitioners and wellness experts are fixating and normalizing restrictive food practices and extreme exercise. Applied to the right person at the right time, these various “nutritional interventions” can be appropriate; however, they should only be done under supervision and with utmost caution. Unfortunately, these practices are not always being used therapeutically as intended. Instead, they have become mainstream and are being marketed as a means to control body size and attain optimal health for the general public.
Advocates of these imbalanced eating approaches seem to be mistaking “obesity” as a cause of disease rather than as one associative factor. Not only is this a scientifically flawed premise, but it is also ignoring personalized nutrition, perpetuating weight rebound, contributing to weight stigma, and regularizing dysfunctional eating patterns and eating disorders, (source, source, source, source)
For this reason, I’ve devoted a series of articles designed to bring awareness to this form of healthism. In my previous posts, I’ve discussed the power of personalized medicine, individualized diets based on biochemical individuality, and the dangers of trading food rules for relationships.
In my latest article, I discuss what perils can occur when food practices are viewed as a moral obligation (this differs from a religious observance). For example, it can push one into a disordered eating pattern known as orthorexia.
When a decision to eat a piece of birthday cake is based on fear of harming your health, or, worse, being a bad person for breaking your diet, one is on shaky ground to basing their lives around food, rather than enjoying food and living their lives.
Click here to read more.
A Note for Those Struggling with Eating Disorders or Disordered Relationships with Food
I am a Health at Every Size (HAES) practitioner who is dedicated to supporting everyone, regardless of body size or food theory. I aim to provide a nonjudgmental atmosphere and safe space around using food as medicine, but also am aware of how this can be triggering for those struggling with disordered eating practices.
If you are struggling with a dysfunctional relationship with your body, food, or exercise, please don’t continue to suffer in silence. Reach out for support. I am happy to either assist you myself or help you find the right fit for you. I am currently building up my network of colleagues who can also provide additional nutritional, psychological, and emotional resources.
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This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.