#18: Orthorexia? My kid says they just want to “eat healthy.”

with Melainie Rogers, MS, RDN, CDN, CEDRD-S

listen here


In this episode we discuss…

  • how melainie began working in the eating disorder field

  • the definition of orthorexia, and how a preoccupation with the quality or nutritional value of food can become debilitating

  • the differences between anorexia and orthorexia

  • how to differentiate between a natural desire to be healthy and orthorexia

  • cultural pressures and misinformation about health and nutrition that complicate “healthy eating”

  • how to vet influencers and sources of nutrition information

  • the impact of assigning virtue to certain foods and vilifying others

  • embracing “all foods fit” and helping kids develop self-regulation around food as prevention for orthorexia

  • how to practice “all foods fit” as a parent nervous about nutritional quality

  • orthorexia as hyper-vigilance around the nutritional quality of food vs. the source and politics of food

  • signs to notice if your child’s interest in healthy eating or food source might be becoming problematic or extreme

  • melainie’s answer to the million dollar question

Registered dietitian and eating disorder expert Melainie Rogers joins us for a conversation about orthorexia, which occurs when a preoccupation with healthy eating becomes extreme and debilitating. We discuss why orthorexia can be easily missed, signs parents can look for, and steps parents can take to help lower their child’s risk.

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Melainie Rogers is a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) and Supervisor and is dedicated to supporting others in their quest to achieve long-term recovery. She is the Founder and Executive Director of BALANCE eating disorder treatment center™ in New York City, which she founded in 2009 in response to seeing a need for more services for eating disorders.

Melainie received her education in Melbourne, Australia where she was born and raised. Upon coming to the United States she earned her Masters Degree in Clinical Nutrition at New York University. Melainie developed her passion for treating clients with eating disorders while working at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Obesity Research Center in New York City. Her understanding of the research behind obesity gave her a unique perspective on eating behaviors and binge eating disorder specifically. Melainie is a recognized expert on eating disorders, a dynamic speaker and educator, and among her many professional affiliations, was the co-founder and first President of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (iaedp) New York Chapter. 

Connect with Melainie on her website and Twitter.

Jordan Best