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Historical evolution of the concept of anorexia nervosa and relationships with orthorexia nervosa, autism, and obsessive-compulsive spectrum

Authors Dell'Osso L, Abelli M, Carpita B, Pini S, Castellini G, Carmassi C, Ricca V

Received 21 March 2016

Accepted for publication 13 April 2016

Published 7 July 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 1651—1660


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Liliana Dell’Osso,1 Marianna Abelli,1 Barbara Carpita,1 Stefano Pini,1 Giovanni Castellini,2 Claudia Carmassi,1 Valdo Ricca2

1Psychiatry Section, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, 2Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health (NEUROFARBA), University of Florence, Florence, Italy

Abstract: Eating disorders have been defined as “characterized by persistence disturbance of eating or eating-related behavior that results in the altered consumption or absorption of food and that significantly impairs health or psychosocial functioning”. The psychopathology of eating disorders changed across time under the influence of environmental factors, determining the emergence of new phenotypes. Some of these conditions are still under investigation and are not clearly identified as independent diagnostic entities. In this review, the historic evolution of the eating disorder concept up to the recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, has been evaluated. We also examined literature supporting the inclusion of new emergent eating behaviors within the eating disorder spectrum, and their relationship with anorexia, autism, and obsessive–compulsive disorder. In particular, we focused on what is known about the symptoms, epidemiology, assessment, and diagnostic boundaries of a new problematic eating pattern called orthorexia nervosa that could be accepted as a new psychological syndrome, as emphasized by an increasing number of scientific articles in the last few years.

anorexia nervosa, autism spectrum disorders, eating disorders spectrum, obsessive–compulsive spectrum, orthorexia nervosa, DSM-5

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