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Do you have a pregnant friend who has been diagnosed as a "pregorexic?" Or perhaps you know a bride to be who is "brideorexic," or an unfortunate person with OCD who is "orthorexic."
Clinical-Sounding Names for Made-Up DiseasesIf you do know such persons, you can be sure that they did not get these diagnoses from their doctors. Made-up eating disorders have become a trend in the tabloid press. Let's take a look at the two most common made-up conditions used to describe eating problems in women.
Pregorexia Based on Fear of Pregnancy-Related Weight Gain
"Pregorexia" is a term applied to women who seek to avoid weight gain during pregnancy. It seems to have originated in a 2008 report on America's FOX news, claiming that 1 in 25 expectant mothers in the United States had this new, dreadful eating disorder. In July of 2011 NBC's Today Show from New York ran a segment entitled "Pregorexia: Is It Just a Problem Wealthy, Self-Obsessed Moms Bring On Themselves?"
The fact is, there are many women who seek to avoid pregnancy-related weight gain, and there are models and superstars who seem to avoid pregnancy-related weight gain successfully. American reality TV star Bethenny Frankel lost 30 pounds (about 14 kilos) within less than a month after giving birth to a healthy baby girl. Super-model and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham was said to show "less than a beer belly" before giving birth to her daughter Harper. Business mogul and Celebrity Apprentice judge Ivanka Trump was able to wear a Playboy Bunny costume for a photo shoot for the American magazine Vanity Fair just three months before giving birth to her daughter Arabelle Rose.
The fact that many women see celebrities avoiding weight gain during pregnancy and want to try it themselves, however, does not mean that they suffer an eating disorder. Some women try to emulate the stars by watching their diets and getting exercise during pregnancy. Others may be more determined to avoid weight gain, and take purgatives or laxatives to avoid storing calories from food they cannot resist.
These habits are decidedly unhealthy and arguably unwise, but they do not constitute a psychiatric disorder. There is no new disease called "pregorexia," other than on the news and in the tabloids. The bodies of pregnant women, by the way, simply shunt available nutrients to the growing fetus, although the child may have a lifetime of appetite and weight gain issues due to the uterine environment before birth.
Bridearexia For Wedding PhotosAlthough the term "bridearexia" only appeared in the news headlines after Kate Middleton's successful weight loss before her wedding to Prince William, losing weight to fit into a wedding dress is nothing new. Tens of millions of women have dieted in an effort to look their best on their wedding day. Most women use short-term methods to look good on the biggest day of their lives, and most new brides return to healthy eating habits.
Bridearexia is not a long-term health problem. The feeling of a need to lose weight for the wedding day, however, can trigger relapses of previously existing eating disorders.
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