RESEARCH PAPER
Orthorexia in a group of dietetics students
 
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Zakład Psychologii Lekarskiej Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi
 
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2015;21(1):95–100
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
Ortorexia is defined as an excessive preoccupation with healthy food, preparation of meals according to strict rules, and subordination of life to the restrictive diet.

Material and Methods:
The aim of this study was evaluation of the threat of ortorexia in a group of students in the specialty of dietetics, evaluation of the relationship between university study, and tendencies towards the presentation of orthorexia behaviour. The subsequent goal of the study was an attempt to find factors predisposing for the occurrence of this disorder in a group of future dieteticians. Material and methods. The study involved 155 students of dietetics at the Medical University in Łódź, and was conducted using 2 questionnaires for diagnosing ortorexia: ORTO-15 and Bratman Orthorexia Test (BOT).

Results:
Every third respondent fulfilled the diagnostic criteria of orthorexia, 39% of the students were in a group at elevated risk, while 28% of them did not report any orthorectic symptoms. Analysis of data using the BOT questionnaire indicated the strongest downward tendency in orthorectic behaviours between the first and second year of Bachelor’s study, whereas the ORTO-15 confirmed a similar situation during complementary Master study.

Conclusions:
The existence of ortorectic behaviours in a group of students in the specialty of dietetics seems to be a notable problem. In the examined group, ortorectic tendencies were more pronounced in female than in male students. The significant diversity of results obtained using two various questionnaires – ORTO-15 and BOT – imply that it is necessary to conduct more comprehensive research on the validity and reliability of the two methods.

 
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