Orthorexia symptoms correlate with perceived muscularity and body fat, not BMI
This study explored how different body-type measures relate to orthorexia symptomatology.
Participants were 465 undergraduates, who completed an online survey with self-reported height and weight items, a muscularity figure rating scale, a body fat figure rating scale, and the Eating Habits Questionnaire (EHQ; Gleaves, Graham, & Ambwani, 2013).
BMI was not significantly related to any of the EHQ subscale scores. In contrast, muscularity rating was positively related to all EHQ subscale scores: Behaviors (p < .001), Problems (p = .014), and Feelings (p = .003). Additionally, body fat rating was negatively correlated with two EHQ subscale scores: Behaviors (p < .001) and Feelings (p = .008). None of these relationships varied as a function of gender.
These findings suggest that orthorexia symptomatology, while unrelated to BMI, is greater for individuals who perceive themselves as having a relatively muscular, lean body type.
Level of evidence
Level V, descriptive cross-sectional study.
KeywordsOrthorexia BMI Muscularity Body fat Gender
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Texas State University Institutional Review Board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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