A holistic exploration of Orthorexia Nervosa
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This thesis seeks to holistically explore orthorexia nervosa (ON), an extreme preoccupation with consuming healthy food (Bratman, 1997). The medicalized culture in which we live places immense pressure on individuals to be healthy, which, when combined with specific individual vulnerabilities, can lead to obsessive manipulation of one’s food intake. By examining both the contributing culture and individual factors, this thesis will build a foundational understanding of ON and provide key considerations for therapists and counsellors to refer to while working with struggling individuals. Given the seemingly close relationship between ON and anorexia nervosa (AN), this thesis also argues that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a therapeutic framework found to be effective in the treatment of AN (Baer, Fischer, & Huss, 2005; Heffner, Sperry, Eifert, & Detweiler, 2002), may be successfully used as therapeutic framework for ON.