The Relationship between Vegetarian Diets and Eating Disorders: Does It Exist? A systematic review

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2021

Authors

Putnam, Amanda

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Abstract

Previous studies have found an association between prevalence of eating disorders (ED) and consumption of vegetarian diets, but with conflicting findings. This review seeks to explore the relationship using a systematic approach. Using the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Evidence Analysis Process, four articles were systematically identified and analyzed. Two studies found healthier food attitudes and behaviors in vegans (p≤0.01). The other two found patients with ED had greater prevalence of vegetarianism (p≤.05). Semi-vegetarians scored higher than omnivores on several ED-related questionnaires (p≤0.02), while vegans scored similarly to omnivores (p≤0.01). There is not strong evidence to suggest a relationship between vegetarian diets and ED. Inconsistencies in the classification of vegetarian diet, reason for adhering to the diet, and date of starting the diet compared to the onset of ED symptoms must be addressed in future studies.

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Creative Arts and Research Symposium
Creative Arts and Research Symposium

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