Martina Valente

Abstracts

1 A Mixed Methods Study Aimed at Exploring the Conceptualization of Orthorexia Nervosa on Instagram

Authors: Elena V. Syurina, Sophie Renckens, Martina Valente

Abstract:

Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the nature of the conversation around orthorexia nervosa (ON) on Instagram. Methods: The present study was conducted using mixed methods, combining a concurrent triangulation and sequential explanatory design. First, 3027 pictures posted on Instagram using #Orthorexia were analyzed. Then, a questionnaire about Instagram use related to ON was completed entirely by 185 respondents. These two quantitative data sources were statistically analyzed and triangulated afterwards. Finally, 9 interviews were conducted, to more deeply investigate what is being said about ON on Instagram and what the motivations to post about it are. Results: Four main categories of pictures were found to be represented in Instagram posts about ON: ‘food’, ‘people’, ‘text’, and ‘other.’ Savory and unprocessed food was most highly represented within the food category, and pictures of people were mostly pictures of the account holder. People who self-identify as having ON were more likely to post about ON, and they were significantly more likely to post about ‘food’, ‘people’ and ‘text.’ The goal of the posts was to raise awareness around ON, as well as to provide support for people who believe to be suffering from it. Conclusion: Since the conversation around ON on Instagram is supportive, it could be beneficial to consider Instagram use in the treatment of ON. However, more research is needed on a larger scale.

Keywords: Social Media, instagram, orthorexia nervosa, disordered eating

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