Orthorexia nervosa: validation of a diagnosis questionnaire

Eat Weight Disord. 2005 Jun;10(2):e28-32. doi: 10.1007/BF03327537.


Aim: To validate a questionnaire for the diagnosis of orhorexia oervosa, an eating disorder defined as "maniacal obsession for healthy food".

Materials and methods: 525 subjects were enrolled. Then they were randomized into two samples (sample of 404 subjects for the construction of the test for the diagnosis of orthorexia ORTO-15; sample of 121 subjects for the validation of the test). The ORTO-15 questionnaire, validated for the diagnosis of orthorexia, is made-up of 15 multiple-choice items.

Results and conclusion: The test we proposed for the diagnosis of orthorexia (ORTO 15) showed a good predictive capability at a threshold value of 40 (efficacy 73.8%, sensitivity 55.6% and specificity 75.8%) also on verification with a control sample. However, it has a limit in identifying the obsessive disorder. For this reason we maintain that further investigation is necessary and that new questions useful for the evaluation of the obsessive-compulsive behavior should be added to the ORTO-15 questionnaire.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Feeding Behavior / classification*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reference Values
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*