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Health status, physical activity, and orthorexia nervosa : A comparison between exercise science students and business students

Malmborg, Julia; Bremander, Ann LU ; Olsson, M. Charlotte and Bergman, Stefan LU (2017) In Appetite 109. p.137-143
Abstract

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... (More)

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.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Bodily pain, General health, High-intensity exercise, Nutrition, Orthorexia nervosa
in
Appetite
volume
109
pages
7 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85002496983
  • wos:000392772600017
ISSN
0195-6663
DOI
10.1016/j.appet.2016.11.028
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c07677bf-c04a-472c-b8f7-17d4692b84f3
date added to LUP
2017-02-06 08:25:37
date last changed
2018-08-05 04:38:02
@article{c07677bf-c04a-472c-b8f7-17d4692b84f3,
  abstract     = {<p>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 &lt; 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.</p>},
  author       = {Malmborg, Julia and Bremander, Ann and Olsson, M. Charlotte and Bergman, Stefan},
  issn         = {0195-6663},
  keyword      = {Bodily pain,General health,High-intensity exercise,Nutrition,Orthorexia nervosa},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  pages        = {137--143},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Appetite},
  title        = {Health status, physical activity, and orthorexia nervosa : A comparison between exercise science students and business students},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.11.028},
  volume       = {109},
  year         = {2017},
}