Bratman Self-Test for Orthorexia: What Does This Test Indicate?

Orthorexia nervosa is an informal eating disorder characterized by a person’s obsessive desire to only eat “pure” or “proper” food. In this article, we’ll examine the origins of orthorexia and the function of the Bratman self-test for diagnosing orthorexia.

What is Orthorexia?

The term “orthorexia” was first coined in a journal article written by a physician named Steven Bratman in 1997. In his article, Bratman compared orthorexia to workaholism, stating that orthorexia occurs when eating healthy, traditionally regarded as a good thing, is taken to an extreme and unhealthy limit. According to Bratman, the difference between someone with orthorexia and someone who simply enjoys eating healthy is that the person with orthorexia typically invests a great deal of their personality and self-worth in their way of eating.

Symptoms of Orthorexia

To give you an idea of the risk profile of orthorexia, we’ve listed some commonly associated symptoms of the condition:

  • Compulsive eating habits
  • Pre-meal and post-meal rituals
  • Social isolation
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Severe fasting or purging after cheating on a diet
  • Food group deprivation

Bratman Self-Test Questions

If you’re interested in taking the Bratman self-test for orthorexia, we’ve listed one version of the test below:

  • Do you believe you spend more than 3 hours per day thinking about your diet and caloric intake?
  • Do you plan what meals you’ll eat several days in advance?
  • Do you think your food’s macronutrient values are more important than their taste?
  • Have you experienced a drop in the quality of your life due to changes in the quality of your diet?
  • In general, have you adopted a stricter mindset lately?
  • Do you experience heightened self-esteem when you are eating healthy?
  • Have you stopped eating foods you enjoy in order to eat healthy?
  • Does your diet make it stressful or difficult to eat out?
  • Has your diet reduced the amount of time you spend eating with family and friends?
  • Has your diet reduced the amount of time you spend on creative ventures or hobbies?
  • Do you experience feelings of guilt or shame when you don’t follow your diet?
  • Do you enjoy the feeling of control you get when eating healthily?

Once you’ve responded to these questions, make sure you tally up your answers. If you answered “yes” to more than 5 of these questions, you may have or be at risk of orthorexia nervosa.

Remember, the Bratman self-test does not meet the standards of professional diagnostic criteria. If you think you might be suffering from orthorexia nervosa, make sure you get in touch with a medical professional for a more thorough analysis of your eating habits.

Sources: Orthorexia, National Eating Disorders Association

Photo: Pixabay

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