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Orthorexic tendencies are linked with difficulties with emotion identification and regulation.

Vuillier, L., Robertson, S. and Greville-Harris, M., 2020. Orthorexic tendencies are linked with difficulties with emotion identification and regulation. Journal of Eating Disorders, 8, 15.

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DOI: 10.1186/s40337-020-00291-7


Background: Orthorexia nervosa (ON) is characterised by an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating and while it is not recognised as an eating disorder (or any disorder), current research is exploring similarities and differences with such disorders. The literature has shown that individuals with eating disorders have difficulties identifying and describing emotions (known as alexithymia) as well as regulating them. However no research to date has looked at whether people with orthorexic tendencies also suffer from difficulties with emotions. In this paper, we refer to people with orthorexic tendencies but do not assume that their healthy eating is at a pathological level needing clinical attention. Methods: The current study examined this by asking 196 healthy adults with an interest in healthy eating to complete four questionnaires to measure ON (ORTO-15 - reduced to ORTO-7CS), eating psychopathology (EAT-26), alexithymia (TAS-20) and emotion dysregulation (DERS-16). Results: We found that difficulties identifying and regulating emotions was associated with symptoms of ON, similar to what is found in other eating disorders. We suggest that ON behaviours may be used as a coping strategy in order to feel in control in these participants who have poor emotion regulation abilities. Conclusions: Our results show that individuals with ON tendencies may share similar difficulties with emotions compared to other eating disorders. While important, our results are limited by the way we measured ON behaviours and we recommend that further research replicate our findings once a better and more specific tool is developed and validated to screen for ON characteristics more accurately.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Alexithymia ; Eating disorders ; Emotion dysregulation ; Orthorexia nervosa
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:33936
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:30 Apr 2020 16:28
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:21


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