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Understanding the omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, and paleo dietary patterns: How they differ in disordered eating indicators

Abstract: Background and Objective: Disordered eating behaviours are a spectrum of maladaptive eating behaviours that affect a substantial proportion of today's society, having been studied regarding their relationship with different dietary patterns. The present study aimed to better characterise the omnivore, vegan, vegetarian and palaeolithic (paleo) dietary patterns and explore dietary pattern's differences regarding disordered eating indicators, sociodemographic data, the motive of choice of dietary pattern and perception of health value. Method: All data were collected online, comprising a sample of 447 [omnivores (n = 281), vegetarians (n = 61), vegans (n = 50) and paleo (n = 55)] women from the general Portuguese population. Results: Results revealed that the dietary patterns differed regarding motive of choice (omnivores: "Family habit"; vegetarians and vegans: "Ethical/Moral"; paleo: "Weight/Shape control") and on the self-assessed health value of their dietary pattern, with the vegan and paleo diets reporting the highest values. Finally, the groups differed significantly regarding disordered eating, binge eating, and orthorexic behaviours, with the paleo group generally presenting the highest values. Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of exploring the individual's dietary pattern, including motive of choice, in the field of eating psychopathology, with an emphasis on the paleo diet as a risk factor. This means that prevention and intervention clinical guidelines should be developed for individuals with this dietary pattern.
Keywords: vegan / vegetarians / paleo / disordered eating / dietary pattern / behaviours / omnivores / motive

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