Assessing psychological and nutritional impact of suspected orthorexia nervosa: a cross-sectional pilot study

This article was originally published here

J Hum Nutr Diet. 2020 Jul 30. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12797. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: To date, research on the dietary patterns of individuals with potential orthorexic symptoms is lacking. This cross-sectional pilot study aimed to explore the feasibility of assessing dietary patterns with psychological traits and states of individuals with possible orthorexic tendencies.

METHODS: Dietary intakes of 10 individuals (two males and eight females) were assessed using 24-h recalls. Mean age of participants was 28.3 years; mean body mass index was 21.2 kg m-2 . Nutrient intakes were compared with current dietary guidelines and the Eatwell Guide (Public Health England, 2016). Participants completed the ORTO-15, the Eating Attitude Test (EAT-26), the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-Revised edition (OCI-R), Paulhus’s Spheres of Control (SoC), the Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) and the Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ).

RESULTS: High levels of disparity across participants’ psychometric scores and 24-h recall results were observed. There was no single pattern of self-imposed dietary restrictions among participants. Described dietary practices failed to meet the guidelines for several nutrients.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this pilot study suggest that an extensive investigation of the diets of individuals with possible orthorexic tendencies in a large-scale study would contribute to the understanding of this condition. In addition, the use of multiple psychometric instruments is recommended for diagnosing orthorexic nervosa.

PMID:33216395 | DOI:10.1111/jhn.12797