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

  • Sara SantarossaEmail author
  • Jillian Lacasse
  • Jordan Larocque
  • Sarah J. Woodruff
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Orthorexia Nervosa


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.


Orthorexia Instagram Online social support Eating disorders Netlytic Hashtag 



No funding to report.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of KinesiologyUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada

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