The effect of social media use on orthorexia nervosa: a sample from Turkey

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Asil E., Yılmaz M. V., Ayyıldız F., Yalçın T.

NUTRICION HOSPITALARIA, vol.40, no.2, pp.384-390, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.20960/nh.04217
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Fuente Academica Plus, CINAHL, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Directory of Open Access Journals, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.384-390
  • Ankara University Affiliated: Yes


Objectives: the current study evaluated the orthorexic tendencies of social media users and the factors affecting these tendencies. Methods: a total of 2526 adult participants (696 male and 1830 female, 28.4 & PLUSMN; 10.3 years) completed a questionnaire that includes personal information, the Orthorexia Nervosa Scale (ORTO-11), the Social Media and Eating Behavior Scale (SMEB), and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Form (IPAQ). Body mass index (BMI) was calculated from the reported weight and height of the participants. Independent-sample t-tests or chi-square tests were computed to evaluate various information of the participants according to the ON tendency. A binary logistic regression analysis was used to identify risk factors. Results: according to ORTO-11, 56.1 % of the participants had a tendency to ON, and the trend to ON increased with age and BMI (p < 0.05). People without ON tendency spent more time (172.2 & PLUSMN; 119.9 min/day) on social media. Participants who followed webpages with healthy nutrition and sport-exercise recommendations had an increased ON risk when compared to those who did not follow those pages (p < 0.05). In addition, although there was a significant difference between participants in physical activity level according to the ON tendency, this relationship was not significant in the regression model (p > 0.05). Conclusion: this study indicates that increasing social media usage, especially web pages that include health and nutrition recommendations, may boost the tendency to ON. Thus, raising awareness of social media may be beneficial to people who have a tendency to ON.