- The Orthorexic Eater requires that food be a certain kind, fixed in a particular way and environmentally correct. Orthorexia nervosa is a term coined by Steven Bratman, M.D. The requirements vary by the orthodoxy. The orthorexic eater is an obsessive perfectionist.
- The Feast-or-Famine Eater fasts all day and eats everything in sight in the evening.
- The Frugal Eater does not want to waste any food and forces himself or herself to overeat.
- The I-Can't-Say-No Eater responds to pressure from others to consume more food than he or she would normally eat.
- The Stealth Eater cleverly hides cookies, candies and other treats in pockets, drawers and the car so that others will not see the amount or kind of food consumed.
- The Disordered Eater can be categorized by two clinically recognized eating disorders. The anorexic eater and bulimic eater may have life-threatening health issues and require medical intervention.
- The Ideal Eater listens to his or her body's cues and eats to satisfy physical rather than emotional hunger. The ideal eater is flexible with food choices and enjoys a variety of seasonal produce.
The ideal eater, of course, exists only in the abstract. Yet the description can serve as a baseline against which we can measure our own eating habits. What kind of eater are you? Recognize your own tendencies so you can spot the traps before they snare you.
Carole Carson, author of From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction, serves as the coach for the AARPFat to Fit online community.