Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Eating Disorders and Dietary Supplements: A Review of the Science

Version 1 : Received: 27 February 2023 / Approved: 28 February 2023 / Online: 28 February 2023 (02:16:28 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Hewlings, S.J. Eating Disorders and Dietary Supplements: A Review of the Science. Nutrients 2023, 15, 2076. Hewlings, S.J. Eating Disorders and Dietary Supplements: A Review of the Science. Nutrients 2023, 15, 2076.


Disordered eating is a serious health concern globally. The etiology is complex and multidimensional and differs somewhat for each specific eating disorder. Several risk factors have been identified which include psychological, genetic, biochemical, environmental, and sociocultural factors. Poor body image, low self-esteem, teasing, family dynamics, and exposure to media images have also been identified as risk factors. While it is enticing to consider a single behavioral risk factor, doing so fails to consider the documented environmental, social, psychological, biological, and cultural factors that contribute to the development of an eating disorder in a multidimensional and complex integration that is undoubtedly unique to everyone. Focusing only on any one factor without taking the complex etiology into account is remiss. For example, it has been suggested that the use of dietary supplements may lead to eating disorders, despite a lack of evidence to support this conjecture. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to examine the evidence-based risk factors for eating disorders and discuss why connecting dietary supplements to eating disorder etiology is not supported by the scientific literature and may interfere with treatment. Established, effective prevention and treatment approaches for eating disorders should be the focus of public health initiatives in this domain.


eating disorders 1; dietary supplements 2; disordered eating 3; eating disorder risk factors 4


Medicine and Pharmacology, Dietetics and Nutrition

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