Prevalence of Orthorexia nervosa among college students based on Bratman's test and associated tendencies

Joanna Bundros, Dawn Clifford, Kathryn Silliman, Michelle Neyman Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Disordered eating is prevalent among college student populations, and Orthorexia nervosa (ON) is being explored as a new type of eating disorder. There is currently no standardized ON diagnostic tool, and the majority of ON research has been conducted among European populations. The present study explored the Bratman Orthorexia Test (BOT) for ON diagnosis, and its relationship to validated tools for assessing disordered eating, body dysmorphic, and obsessive-compulsive tendencies among college students attending a western university. A convenience sample of 448 college students with a mean age of 22 years was recruited to complete an online survey that included the BOT, Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26), Body Dysmorphic Disorder Questionnaire (BDDQ), Obsessive Compulsive Inventory, Revised (OCI-R) and demographics. Spearman correlation, Mann-Whitney U, Kruskal-Wallis, chi-square, and multiple linear regressions were used for analyses. The average BOT score was 4.71, near the "health fanatic" range, with Hispanic/Latino subjects and overweight/obese students having significantly higher median BOT scores. Gender, age, and college major were not significantly associated with BOT score. Significant positive correlations were observed between total BOT and EAT-26 scores (r = .47, p < 0.01), BOT and BDDQ scores (r = .25, p < 0.01), and BOT and OCI-R scores (r = .19, p < 0.01). ON tendencies may exist among college students and Hispanic/Latino and overweight/obese students may be at increased risk. Further research is needed to determine ON risk factors among diverse student populations in order to inform prevention and treatment approaches on college campuses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-94
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • College students
  • Disordered eating
  • Orthorexia nervosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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