Orthorexia Nervosa and Healthy Orthorexia in a physically active North American population

As defined by the Teruel Orthorexia scale (TOS), Orthorexia Nervosa (OrNe) is a pathological fix-ation on a healthy diet, while Healthy Orthorexia (HeOr) is an interest in a healthy diet independent of psychopathology. The aim of this study was to a) assess both types of Orthorexia using the TOS in a North American sample, and b) to explore if engagement in regular physical activity is associ-ated with a greater risk of Orthorexia. Here, a cohort of physically active adults (n=927; 41% men) completed the TOS, and the Rapid Assessment of Physical Activity (RAPA), which is used to broadly assess aerobic physical activity level and participation in strength training and/or flexibility training, as part of a larger study on consumer behavior. The TOS has two related but distinct subscales, Healthy Orthorexia (HeOr) and Orthorexia Nervosa (OrNe). As expected, scores for HeOr and OrNe differed between our participants, with lower scores for Orthorexia Nervosa in our non-clinical sample. Individuals reporting participating in more aerobic physical activity had higher HeOr scores, with the most active men having the highest scores. Notably, participants who reported regularly participating in strength training had higher scores for both HeOr and OrNe, with men who strength train showing higher OrNe scores than women. In addition, we found higher HeOr scores were associated with a lower BMI, and this finding was significant in both men and women. Collectively, our data demonstrate the utility of the TOS in a physically active, gender balanced, age diverse North American sample. Measures of Orthorexia were associated with self-reported physical activity. Specifically, those who participate in regular strength training are more likely to exhibit orthorexic behaviors, and this effect was more pronounced in men than women.



Work Title Orthorexia Nervosa and Healthy Orthorexia in a physically active North American population
Open Access
  1. Jennifer Brodock
  3. Helene Hopfer
  4. John Hayes
  1. physical activity; eating disorders; obesity; eating behavior
License CC BY-NC 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial)
Work Type Dataset
Publication Date October 7, 2021
Deposited April 06, 2021




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Creator Jennifer Brodock
  • Added Creator TRAVIS MASTERSON
  • Added Creator Helene Hopfer
  • Added Creator John Hayes
  • Added Brodock2021_demographics_questionnairescores.csv
  • Added Brodock2021_individualutilities.csv
  • Deleted Brodock2021_demographics_questionnairescores.csv
  • Added Brodock2021_demographics_questionnairescores.csv
  • Updated Publication Date Show Changes
    Publication Date
    • 2021-10-7
  • Updated Publication Date, License Show Changes
    Publication Date
    • 2021-10-7
    • 2021-10-07
    • https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
  • Published
  • Updated