Orthorexia nervosa: relationship with obsessive-compulsive symptoms, disordered eating patterns and body uneasiness among Italian university students

  • Anna Brytek-MateraEmail author
  • Maria Luisa Fonte
  • Eleonora Poggiogalle
  • Lorenzo Maria Donini
  • Hellas Cena
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Orthorexia Nervosa



The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between ORTO-15 score and obsessive-compulsive symptoms, disordered eating patterns and body uneasiness among female and male university students and to examine the predictive model of ORTO-15 in both groups.


One hundred and twenty students participated in the present study (mean age 22.74 years, SD 7.31). The ORTO-15 test, the Maudsley Obsessive-Compulsive Questionnaire, the Eating Attitudes Test-26 and the Body Uneasiness Test were used for the present study.


Our results revealed no gender differences in ORTO-15 score. Our results show, rather unexpectedly, that in female students lower scores, corresponding to greater severity, were related to less pathological body image discomfort and obsessive-compulsive signs, while in male students, lower ORTO-15 scores were related to less pathological eating patterns, as behaviors and symptoms.


Further studies regarding the relationship between ON and anorexia nervosa, as well as obsessive-compulsive symptoms, are needed to better understand the causality.

Level of Evidence Level V, descriptive study.


Orthorexia nervosa Obsessive-compulsive symptoms Disordered eating patterns University population 


Compliance with ethics standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval was obtained per institutional guidelines. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Katowice Faculty of PsychologySWPS University of Social Sciences and HumanitiesKatowicePoland
  2. 2.Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic MedicineUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly
  3. 3.Experimental Medicine Department, Food Science and Human Nutrition Research UnitSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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