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Orthorexic Eating Behavior in Relation to Health Status and Physical Activity: A Comparison Between Students in Two University Programs
Halmstad University, School of Business and Engineering (SET), Biological and Environmental Systems (BLESS), Biomechanics and Biomedicine.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: It is discussed whether people within the area of health are more prone to developing ‘unhealthy’ behaviors regarding diet and physical activity. Orthorexia nervosa (ON) is a condition that describes an unhealthy obsession with healthy food. The research on ON is scarce and there are no studies assessing ON in relation to health status and physical activity.

Aim: The aim of this study was to examine and compare orthorexic eating behavior in relation to health status and physical activity between students enrolled in the university programs of Biomedicine – Athletic Training (Biomedicine) and Construction and Real Estate Business (Business).

Method: 129 subjects (32 men and 38 women from Biomedicine and 23 men and 36 women from Business) participated in this cross-sectional study. The subjects completed three questionnaires; The Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36), with eight different subscales, was used to assess mental and physical health status, the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) measured levels of physical activity and ORTO-15 examined eating behavior that indicated ON. T-tests and chi-square tests were used to analyze the data.

Results: A total of 105 out of 128 subjects had a score indicating ON. Students from Biomedicine had a higher frequency of ON in comparison to Business (p < 0.000) and through the SF-36 subscale for bodily pain, Biomedicine reported a higher frequency of pain (p = 0.006). Results from measurements of physical activity did not differ significantly between Biomedicine and Business, but high-intensity physical activity seemed to occur more frequently in men than in women in total (p = 0.014).

Conclusion: ON is a common condition in university students and even more frequent in students enrolled in a program directed towards health and nutrition. The high frequency of ON seen in Biomedicine could be a problem that needs to be addressed since the students, after graduation, are expected to coach other people to a healthy living. Further studies are needed to explore associations with ON to health and physical activity. There is also a need to develop valid and reliable instruments for assessing the condition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 40 p.
Keyword [en]
health, physical activity, orthorexia
National Category
Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-25475OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-25475DiVA: diva2:721175
Subject / course
Biomedicine Targeting Physical Education
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2014-06-18 Created: 2014-06-03 Last updated: 2014-08-12Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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More languages
Output format
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