#Orthorexia on Instagram: a descriptive study exploring the online conversation and community using the Netlytic software

Eat Weight Disord. 2019 Apr;24(2):283-290. doi: 10.1007/s40519-018-0594-y. Epub 2018 Oct 13.

Abstract

Orthorexia nervosa (ON) is a relatively new phenomenon. The purpose of this study was to investigate (1) the #orthorexia conversation on Instagram (using the Netlytic software), and (2) among a random subsample of images (N = 245), analyse the types of images (N = 145) and author biographies (N = 68). Among the 4,533 downloaded records, there were 48,780 unique words associated with the posts, with the most commonly used being love (n = 535) and #edrecovery (n = 425). Among the images, the majority contained food (68%) and people (13%). Among the unique authors, the majority were female (84%) and mentioned ED (eating disorder) recovery and being food/fitness focused. The ON community on Instagram is relatively small and the positive conversation may suggest a supportive community that focuses on recovery and adopting healthier eating behaviours.Level of evidence Level V, descriptive study.

Keywords: Eating disorders; Hashtag; Instagram; Netlytic; Online social support; Orthorexia.

MeSH terms

  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders*
  • Humans
  • Social Media*
  • Social Support*