A vegetarian diet appears to be related to an orthorexic eating behaviour but further research is required to determine if following a vegetarian diet is a risk factor for the condition

In November 2019 researchers from Poland published their review of the medical scientific literature on the relationship between a vegetarian diet and an orthorexic eating disorder. Orthorexia or orthorexia nervosa is a term coined in 1998 and describes an eating disorder that involves an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. Unlike other eating disorders where individuals are focused on losing weight, orthorexia mostly revolves around food quality, not quantity. However, orthorexia sufferers frequently display the same signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders that frequently co-occur with anorexia nervosa or other eating disorders. A total of 14 medical scientific studies were included in the review. Results showed that in 11 out of 14 studies a vegetarian diet had been found to be related to an orthorexic eating behaviour. Further research is requuired to assess whether following a vegetarian diet is a risk factor in the development of orthorexia nervosa.

Brytek-Matera A. Vegetarian diet and orthorexia nervosa: a review of the literature. Eat Weight Disord. 2019 Nov 29. [Epub ahead of print]

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