Orthorexia Nervosa: Psychological Disorder or Social Trend?
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Although there has been a wealth of anecdotal evidence on Orthorexia nervosa (ON), empirical studies on the topic are surprisingly limited. ON has been described as a pathological fixation on the consumption of healthy food and obsession with proper nutrition. The purpose of this study was to begin to establish a valid scale to measure the phenomenon and to examine the validity of ON as a psychological disorder. This study evaluated the possible overlap between ON and existing DSM disorders that it has been compared to in previous literature, specifically other eating disorders and anxiety disorders. The findings of the study indicate ON shares many important characteristics to eating disorders. Most notably, there were significant positive correlations between ON and anxiety, disordered eating, and attempts to lose weight. Although findings suggest this construct may be part of an eating disorder diagnosis, further research is needed to be able to determine if ON is a distinct construct, part of an existing disorder, or simply a social trend.