Date of Graduation

Spring 2019


Master of Science in Health Promotion and Wellness Management


Public Health and Sports Medicine

Committee Chair

Melinda Novik


Orthorexia nervosa (ON) is a specific style of disordered eating defined as an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy food, or going to extremes in the pursuit of a diet that is supposed to be good for you. The purpose of this study was to explore the prevalence of orthorexia nervosa tendencies in college female soccer players in the NCAA Division 1. Purposive sampling was used, and participants were current student-athletes from the Missouri State women’s soccer team (n=18). Survey research was utilized to assess athletes’ attitudes and behaviors related to various aspects of diet and training, and the control it has over their lives, using the ORTHO-15 to assess orthorexia nervosa tendencies and the Eating Habit Questionnaire (EHQ) scales. Other survey items included weight status and motives for eating behaviors as well as three open ended qualitative items. Between the ORTHO-15 and EHQ, a statistically significant positive correlation existed (r=0.595, p=0.007). The mean scores for the ORTHO-15 and the EHQ were 39.94 ± 6.44 and 66.67 ± 6.90 respectively. Implications from this research indicate a trend towards orthorexia nervosa behaviors among college female soccer players, which warrants more research.


Orthorexia nervosa, healthy eating, eating behaviors, eating disorders, performance, student-athletes

Subject Categories

Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Mental and Social Health | Mental Disorders | Nutrition | Psychology | Sports Sciences | Sports Studies | Women's Health


© Maryse Bard-Martel

Open Access