People behind unhealthy obsession to healthy food: the personality profile of tendency to orthorexia nervosa

  • Márton Kiss-Leizer
  • Adrien RigóEmail author
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Personality and Eating and Weight disorders



Our aim was to measure the personality profile of people with high orthorexic tendency using an assessment method which is acknowledged in the research of the classical eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa) and obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD).


In our research, 739 participants completed a self-administered, online questionnaire consisting of two measures: Temperament and Character Inventory-56 (TCI-56) and Ortho-11-Hu.


The orthorexia nervosa (ON) grouping variable has a significant effect on three factors of TCI: MANOVA revealed higher harm avoidance (F (2, 736) = 19.01, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.05), lower self-directedness (F (2, 736) = 22.55, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.06), and higher transcendence (F (2, 736) = 3.05, p = 0.048, η2 = 0.01) in the higher ON group, compared to the lower ON group, regardless of the effect of the risk groups.


According to earlier studies, high harm avoidance and low self-directedness are relevant factors of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and OCD, but now it also seems to be an important parameter of orthorexia. Nevertheless, higher transcendence may be a unique feature, which suggests that orthorexia seems to be an independent phenomenon.

Level of evidence

V, descriptive cross-sectional study.


Orthorexia nervosa Personality Eating disorders Temperament 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

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, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Personality and Health PsychologyEötvös Loránd UniversityBudapestHungary

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