Eating Attitudes and Orthorexia Nervosa Tendencies Among Turkish University Students: A cross-sectional study

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Şeyma Sünbül https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3333-7203
Ebru Bayrak https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7279-3255

Keywords

Orthorexia Nervosa; Healthy Nutrition Obsession; Eating Disorders; Eating Attitudes; University Students.

Abstract

Healthy nutritional habits are a fundamental component of a healthy life. However, if these habits become an obsession, physical and mental problems may occur, which may lead to the eating disorder called orthorexia nervosa. This study aimed to determine the eating attitudes and tendencies related to orthorexia nervosa in a sample of Turkish university students.This study was conducted with 580 students, of which 250 (43.1%) were males and 330 (56.9%) were females. Study data were collected using a general information form which included questions regarding the students’ demographic information and life habits, an Orthorexia-15 (ORTO-15) questionnaire to determine their healthy nutrition obsessions, and an Eating Attitudes Test-40 (EAT-40) to detect eating behavior disorders. Statistically significant relationship was found between eating disorder risk and gender, with female students having more eating disorders compared to males (p<0.01). It was found that 36.2% of the students included in the normal group according to BMI classification had ON tendency. Students who following a diet had more orthorexic tendencies and were at moderate risk of having an eating disorder (p<0.05). A moderate negative correlation was found between EAT-40 and ORTO-15 scores (r=-0.572; p<0.005). This study found that university students had eating behavior disorders and a tendency to orthorexia nervosa. EAT-40 scores indicated that 15% had higher risks of having an eating disorder. ORTO-15 results indicated that 46% of the female students, 32% of the male students, and 40% of the overall sample had orthorexia nervosa tendencies.

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