Health status, physical activity, and orthorexia nervosa: A comparison between exercise science students and business students
2017 (English)In: Appetite, ISSN 0195-6663, E-ISSN 1095-8304, Vol. 109, 137-143 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Orthorexia nervosa is described as an exaggerated fixation on healthy food. It is unclear whether students in health-oriented academic programs, highly focused on physical exercise, are more prone to develop orthorexia nervosa than students in other educational areas. The aim was to compare health status, physical activity, and frequency of orthorexia nervosa between university students enrolled in an exercise science program (n = 118) or a business program (n = 89). The students completed the Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36), the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), and ORTO-15, which defines orthorexia nervosa as a sensitive and obsessive behavior towards healthy nutrition. The SF-36 showed that exercise science students scored worse than business students regarding bodily pain (72.8 vs. 82.5; p = 0.001), but better regarding general health (83.1 vs. 77.1; p = 0.006). Of 188 students, 144 (76.6%) had an ORTO-15 score indicating orthorexia nervosa, with a higher proportion in exercise science students than in business students (84.5% vs. 65.4%; p = 0.002). Orthorexia nervosa in combination with a high level of physical activity was most often seen in men in exercise science studies and less often in women in business studies (45.1% vs. 8.3%; p < 0.000). A high degree of self-reporting of pain and orthorexia nervosa in exercise science students may cause problems in the future, since they are expected to coach others in healthy living. Our findings may be valuable in the development of health-oriented academic programs and within student healthcare services. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2017. Vol. 109, 137-143 p.
Bodily pain, General health, High-intensity exercise, Orthorexia nervosa, Nutrition
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-32455DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.11.028PubMedID: 27889495ScopusID: 2-s2.0-85002496983OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-32455DiVA: diva2:1048429
Funding: Halmstad University; Spenshult Research and Development Center, Halmstad; and Region Halland, Sweden [grant number HALLAND-469111].2016-11-212016-11-212017-01-03Bibliographically approved