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Analysis concerning nutritional behaviors in the context of the risk of orthorexia

Authors Olejniczak D, Bugajec D, Panczyk M, Brytek-Matera A, Religioni U, Czerw A, Grąbczewska A, Juszczyk G, Jabłkowska-Górecka K, Staniszewska A

Received 7 December 2016

Accepted for publication 29 December 2016

Published 21 February 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 543—550


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Dominik Olejniczak,1 Dorota Bugajec,1 Mariusz Panczyk,2 Anna Brytek-Matera,3 Urszula Religioni,4 Aleksandra Czerw,1 Aleksandra Grąbczewska,1 Grzegorz Juszczyk,1 Karolina Jabłkowska-Górecka,1 Anna Staniszewska5

1Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Science, Medical University of Warsaw, 2Division of Teaching and Outcomes of Education, Faculty of Health Science, Warsaw Medical University, 3Faculty of Psychology, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Katowice, 4Collegium of Socio-Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, 5Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

Abstract: Orthorexia is recognized as an eating disorder, an obsessive–compulsive spectrum disorder, or a somatoform disorder. The aim of our research was to analyze nutritional behaviors for the assessment of the risk of orthorexia. The authors developed a questionnaire in which 981 respondents participated and used it as a research method. Both men and women ate mostly 4–5 meals per day (46.30% women versus 34.74% men); however, more men than women ate 1–2 meals daily (18.95% men versus 7.9% women). Both place of birth and field of study did not differ in terms of the number of meals. Moreover, it was observed that the number of meals per day was correlated with the declared time spent on planning a diet. People who ate over 3 meals per day more often indicates that they spent >3 h per day on planning their diet in comparison with people who ate only 1–2 meals. Only 17.6% of the respondents declared that they most often ate meals in a company of someone, whereas 45.3% indicated that there was no rule. The remaining 37.1% of the respondents most often consumed their meals alone. Almost twice as many men as women never paid attention to the qualitative composition of nutrition. Women followed a slimming diet more often than men (20.3% versus 5.8%) and this indicated >4 attempts of losing weight. Around one-third of all the respondents suffered or suffer from eating disorders. Owing to insufficient information on orthorexia, it is essential to conduct further research to determine the characteristics of high-risk groups. Taking the growing interest in a healthy lifestyle into account, there is a need to address the problem of orthorexia in the public space.

Keywords: orthorexia, eating disorder, obsessive–compulsive spectrum disorder, nutritional behavior

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