Differences in eating and body-related attitudes, beliefs and behaviors among female graduate students in nutrition and dietetics and naturopathic medicine: a pilot study

  • Cristen Harris
Brief Report


Registered dietitian nutritionists are food and nutrition experts who promote positive lifestyle choices by translating the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living.

The pursuit of nutrition and dietetics as a career may be influenced by personal experiences with weight concerns or eating disorders. Some students may begin their training in nutrition because they are motivated to deal with their own dietary issues. Others, having recovered from disordered eating behaviors, may be inspired to help others overcome similar issues.

Previous cross-sectional studies have investigated differences between first-year and higher level nutrition/dietetics students on dietary restraint, disinhibition, orthorexia, and the prevalence of eating disorders. These studies indicate that nutrition education may promote healthier food choices and positive eating patterns [1, 2, 3]. However, the opposite may also be true. In some students, increased nutrition knowledge...



This research was supported by the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science and the Bastyr Center for Research, Grant award number BUCSR-Y4-014. The author would like to thank Chair Debra Boutin for her support of this project, and Laura Moore for her assistance with a final literature search.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the university’s Institutional Review Board 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 Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bastyr UniversityKenmoreUSA

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