Classification of orthorexia nervosa: Further evidence for placement within the eating disorders spectrum

Purpose: Orthorexia Nervosa (ON) may belong on the eating disorder (ED) or obsessive-compulsive (OC) spectrum. We sought to provide additional evidence regarding the working classification of ON as an ED. Methods: 512 individuals completed a measure of ON symptoms (rBOT), ED symptoms (Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire), OC symptoms (Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory Revised), food choice motives (Food Choice Questionnaire), and perfectionism (Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale). Results: ON symptoms were more strongly linked to ED symptoms than to OC symptoms. ON symptoms were related to body weight and shape concerns, and with prioritizing weight above health with respect to food selection. Both ED and ON symptoms were moderately related to perfectionism, while OC symptoms were strongly related to perfectionism. Conclusion: Our results support ON being classified on the ED spectrum; however, whether ON represents a precursor to an ED, an ED with added health concerns, or a disorder that evolves from an ED is not certain. Future longitudinal research is necessary to test these alternate possibilities.