Are eccentric eating habits eating disorders?

Shulamith Kreitler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The study deals with particular kinds of eating habits that are unusual, not focused on weight, different from eating disorders, and not pathological. They are characterized by features such as the kind, amount, manner and style of eating that deviate from the common ones in their family or culture. They would be included today under the DSM-5 categories of Avoidant restricting food intake disorder (AR-FID), and unspecified feeding or eating disorders (US-FED). The question was whether they are mild forms of eating disorders or an independent set of behaviors. The objective was to examine to which extent these atypical eating behaviors may be subsumed under the diagnostic category of eating disorders by testing their scores on the Cognitive Orientation Questionnaire of Eating Disorders (CO-ED), which is a measure of the general tendency for eating disorders. Methods: The sample included 250 high school students (120 boys, 130 girls), 16-18 years old. They were administered the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26), the Eccentric Eating Habits (EEH) questionnaire and the Cognitive Orientation of Eating Disorders (CO-ED). Results: EAT-26 and EEH were uncorrelated. High scorers on the EAT-26 scored higher than high and low scorers on EEH in several variables of the CO-ED. High and low scorers on EEH differed in most variables of the CO-ED. Conclusions: EEH is manifestation of the general tendency for eating disorders but differs from eating disorders and may be considered as an independent manifestation of eating disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Volume54
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017

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