in Wacky Word Wednesday

Valetudinarian – Wacky Word Wednesday

Today’s Wacky Word Wednesday discusses a kind of phobia that is rooted in our fear of dying. It sounds a little morbid but we promise we won’t scare you too much. Here’s this week’s description:

quo topValetudinarian
[val-ee-too-duh-NAYR-ee-uhn]

noun

A person who is unduly anxious about their health.

quo botValetudinarian

Valetudinarian, derived from the Latin valere meaning “be strong or be well,” and valetude, “state of health,” refers to someone who is overly worried about his or her health. It’s not to be mistaken for hypochondriac, which means someone who believes him or herself is always ill—someone perpetually concerned with contracting diseases.  On the contrary, a valetudinarian is someone who is either already in poor health or someone who takes excessive care to make sure that they do not fall ill.

The difference between the two words is very subtle but both of these phobias are likely rooted in the fear of dying. Many people with a family history of degenerative illnesses can also be overly concerned about their health; some even go to the extreme by becoming an orthorexic—one who has a fixation with healthy eating. Orthorexic is a term coined in 1997 by physician Steven Bratman to describe his own approach to food and pattern of eating. The growing popularity of organic food also causes people to fear ingredients such as fat, sodium and sugar−all of which are important for maintaining good health as long as they are consumed in moderation.

For your reference, we’ve provided two examples using valetudinarian:

Whether you’re a vegan, a locavore or a fruitarian, we hope your commitment to eat healthy food doesn’t turn into an unhealthy obsession. Besides, some people believe that clean eating is a myth and that balance and moderation are what’s truly important.

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