Dietology: A Pornographic Fetish

Orthorexia is a pseudo-scientific condition for people who are obsessed with healthy eating to the point of physical and emotional harm. I don’t believe there’s an official term for it, but Dietorexia ought to be a condition as well.

Small bites wrote a critical article about the ranking of diets in the U.S. News and World Report:

Despite the hegemonic “battle of the diets” meme that often makes the media rounds, no one can argue against a whole-foods, plant-centric approach.

Interestingly, the better-rated plans (DASH, Mediterranean, etc.) aren’t so much strict diets as ‘good guidelines for health’ (i.e: prioritize fruits and vegetables, choose whole grains over refined, consume healthful fats, limit red meat and added sugars).

My first response was surprise that such a list existed. 

I think one of the reasons that diets are popular is because they’re pornographic. Pornography usually refers to sex, but more generally it’s the experience of realizing an elusive reward without being confronted with the challenges of obtaining it. Lots of movies are morality porn. Dietology is health porn.

2 thoughts on “Dietology: A Pornographic Fetish”

  1. In defense of dieters, I think for a lot of people reading about diets is like reading the paper or a graphic novel. They don’t take the advice too narrowly and silo it in, they just do it for casual reading. I would know, because I do it all the time!


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