IUScholarWorks Conferences, IUURC21

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Orthorexia nervosa: Evaluating Potential At-risk Populations and Diagnostic Criteria in an Emerging Eating Disorder
Christian R. French

Building: School of Education
Room: ED 1225
Date: 2015-11-20 01:40 PM – 02:00 PM
Last modified: 2015-11-19


Orthorexia nervosa (ON) is a proposed eating disorder (ED), behavioral addiction (Marazzitti et al. 2015; & Haman, Barker-Ruchti, Patriksson, & Lindgren, 2015), and manic obsession with pure or “righteous” eating (Donini, Marsili, Graziani, Imbriale, & Cannella, 2004), in which patients compulsively avoid synthetic/contaminant food products, such as herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics, and genetic modification (Zamora et al. 2005; Fidan, Ertekin, Isikay, & Kirpinar, 2012). Unlike the currently recognized typical ED’s, Anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN), and the atypical ED’s, or eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS) (Touyz, Polivy, & Hay, 2008), ON focuses on quality of food rather than quantity (Varga, Dukary-Szabo, Tury, & E. van Furth, 2013), and weight loss is not a goal but an unintentional consequence. The current test for ON, the ORTO-15, shows to have questionable internal validity and reliability, therefore, revision attempts have been made (Missbach et al. 2015). Certain populations are known have higher risk for ON: medical doctors/students, opera singers, orchestra musicians, ballet dancers, and athletes (Sundgot-Borgen & Torstveit, 2004; Varga et al. 2013; & Brytek-Matera, 2012), due to body ideals in western societies, career pressures (Fidan et al. 2010), and healthism (Haman et al. 2015). There is debate on whether ON should be considered part of the obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) spectrum, an ED, or a valid psychiatric disorder at all (Rӧssner, 2004). The purpose of this study is to provide credence to ON as an ED; examine body-builders, vegans, pregnant/nursing women, and the gay community as potential ARPs; uncover the role of career/societal pressures; and evaluate current diagnostic criteria for ON using a revised model of the ORTO-15, developed for this study, the ORTO-6FM.

Mentor: Dr. Diane Wille, Department of Psychology, Indiana University Southeast