Are vegetarians more prone to eating disorders? Latest medical researches
|Disturbed eating habits and obsessive-compulsive disorder are no more common in people who eat meatless than in meat eaters|
latest medical researches Çankırı (Turkey)
Çankırı (Turkey) – Vegetarians and vegans often value the quality and health benefits of their foods. Therefore, it is possible that these people more often than others suffer from nutritional mental disorders. This is what Turkish researchers have now investigated in a small study. In particular, they examined whether people who opted for a meatless diet were more likely to show symptoms of orthorexia. Orthorexia Nervosa refers to a mental disorder that manifests itself in the extremely pronounced urge to consume only the most healthy foods possible. However, the results provided no evidence for such a connection, the scientists report in the journal “Archives of Psychiatric Nursing“. This may be explained by the fact that most of the vegetarians and vegans among the subjects chose their lifestyle mainly for ethical and not for health reasons.
Çankırı Karatekin University
“People at risk for orthorexia include adolescents, athletes, medical students, and healthcare workers. It can not be ruled out that vegetarians and vegans should also be added to these risk groups “, write Pınar Çiçekoğlu and Güzin Yasemin Tunçay from Çankırı Karatekin University. Researchers speculated that people who eat meatless foods could more often show signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder, disturbed eating habits in general, and orthorexia in particular. It is still disputed whether the Orthorexia Nervosa is an independent mental illness or is the result of an eating or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Those affected are obsessively – often several hours a day – with considerations about the quality of their food. Worry about harmful ingredients and spend an undue amount of money on the “right” diet. Vegetarians do not eat meat, but may eat food made from animals such as dairy products, eggs and honey. Vegans dispense with all types of animal products and do not use any animal-tested cosmetics or cleansers.
The study involved 62 men and women averaging 33.5 years. Half of it was roughly equal parts vegetarians and vegans. Most of them lived for five to five years, from birth on without consuming meat. Just over half of the subjects cited ethical reasons for their diet. The evaluation of standardized questionnaires gave information about the eating behavior and characteristics of obsessive-compulsive disorder. There were no statistically significant differences between vegetarians and vegans on the one hand and meat eaters on the other hand. In general, the risk of orthorexia increased when signs of another eating or obsessive-compulsive disorder increased. Overall, the likelihood of orthorexia or obsessive-compulsive disorder was independent of gender age and educational attainment. However, in both groups men had a higher risk of disturbed eating habits than women. Larger studies, which would have to include different risk groups. Were needed in the authors’ opinion in order to examine the present results and draw general conclusions.