Alyssa Lawson

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School


First Advisor

Karen K. Saules

Second Advisor

Rusty McIntyre

Third Advisor

Carol Freedman-Doan


Orthorexia Nervosa (ON) is defined as a "fixation" or an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy food (Bratman, 2000). ON is not considered an official eating disorder in the DSM-5; however, ON consists of an intense diet regimen (Mcinerney-Ernst, 2011). Individuals who suffer from ON have found to be considerably invested in the foods they consume and how meals are prepared. ON can be a cause for a concern because some individuals would rather starve than eat foods which they consider to be "impure" (Donini, Marsili, Graziani, Imbriale, & Cannella, 2004). Individuals with ON have been found to be more interested in the quality over the quantity of the foods they consume (Arby & Koven, 2015). This study used an online survey method via The primary focus of this study was to investigate the correlations between ON and other forms of disordered eating, excessive exercise, and psychological factors among the college student population. Results indicate that ON, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive features are related, but ON and depression are not. It was hypothesized those with orthorexic tendencies would be more inclined to excessively exercise due to extreme guilt; ON and exercise were related, but this was not mediated by fear of food, guilt, or obsessive-compulsive features.

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Psychology Commons