Prevalence of orthorexia nervosa in resident medical doctors in the faculty of medicine (Ankara, Turkey)

Appetite. 2007 Nov;49(3):661-6. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2007.04.007. Epub 2007 May 13.


This study has been carried out to "identify highly sensitive behavior on healthy nutrition (orthorexia nervosa-ON)" in residence medical doctors (MD) in the Faculty of Medicine. Diagnoses of ON was based on the presence of a disorder with obsessive-compulsive personality. The study is a cross-sectional research, which reached out to the entire 318 MD. The ORTO-15 test was used to propose a diagnostic proceeding and to try verify the prevalence of ON. Those subjects who were classified below 40 from the ORTO-15 test are accepted to have ON. Chi-square test, ANOVA (univariate) analysis and logistic regression were used for analyses of the data. Mean score of the participants from the ORTO-15 test is 39.8+/-0.22, and there is no statistical difference between women and men. A total of 45.5% of the residence MD involved in the research scored below 40 in the ORTO-15 test. Those who do their food shopping themselves, skip a meal with a salad/fruit, care about the quality of the things they eat, think that eating outside is healthy, look at the content of what they eat and the content of food is important in selection of a product score lower in their average marks in ORTO-15 and the difference among the groups is statistically significant. Food selection of 20.1% of the male participants and 38.9% of the female participants among the residence MD is influenced by the programs on nutrition/health in mass-media. The difference between the groups is statistically significant (p<0.05). Female medical doctors are more careful than men of their physical appearance and weight control and consume less caloric food, which is statistically significant. Since those who exhibit "healthy fanatic" eating habits may have a risk of ON in the future, it would be useful to conduct studies that identify the prevalence of ON in the public.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / psychology
  • Diet / standards
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors