Risk behavior for orthorexia nervosa in nutrition students

Quetsia Jackeline Octacilio Vitorino de Souza Alexandra Magna Rodrigues About the authors


To identify the risk behavior for the development of orthorexia nervosa in students of Nutrition.


Descriptive and correlational study. The research subjects were students of Nutrition, female, over 18 years old, from the University of Vale do Paraíba, SP. Three instruments were applied, the first being about basic information such as age, height and specified weight and study year. The data on specified weight and height were used in the calculation of the body mass index (BMI) and nutritional status classification. The second was to identify the perception of body image according to the Silhouettes Scale. The Third was used to verify the risk behavior for development of orthorexia nervosa (Ortho-15).


A total of 150 students with an average age of 23.21 years participated in the study. It was observed that most of the students were eutrophic (74%, n = 111), according to the BMI classification. Regarding the perception of body image, it was found that 74,7% (n = 112) of the students studying Nutrition had body image disturbance. Regarding orthorexia nervous it was observed that 88.7% (n = 133) of the students were at risk for developing orthorexic behavior. By relating the orthorexic behavior with grade level, with nutritional status and body image disturbance, there was no association between the variables (p > 0.05).


It is concluded that a considerable number of students from the Nutrition course present orthorexic behavior and body image disturbance.

Eating disorders; students; health occupations; body image

Instituto de Psiquiatria da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Av. Venceslau Brás, 71 Fundos, 22295-140 Rio de Janeiro - RJ Brasil, Tel./Fax: (55 21) 3873-5510 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: editora@ipub.ufrj.br