Skip to main content

Orthorexia nervosa in the general population: A preliminary screening using a self-administered questionnaire (ORTO-15)

We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.

Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.


OBJECTIVE: Orthorexia, from the Greek words orthos (straight, proper) and orexis (appetite), is a newly conceptualized disorder characterized by distorted eating habits and cognitions concerning supposedly healthy nutrition. In this article we present preliminary results of a wider research aimed to investigate the diffusion of Orthorexia in the general population and to highlight its characteristics and particularly the relationship with Eating Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. METHOD: One-hundred and seventy seven adult subjects from the general population, were administered the ORTO-15 test, a selfadministered questionnaire specifically designed to assess orthorexic symptomatology; note that statistical analyses were repeated twice, referring to different diagnostic thresholds (40/35). RESULTS: Orthorexia had a 57.6% prevalence in our sample, using the 40-point threshold, with a female/male ratio 2:1; the figure was sensibly lower with the 35-point threshold (21%). CONCLUSION: The results of this study highlight the diffusion of Orthorexia which may constitute an important risk factor for mental and physical health, but also the opportunity of more specific diagnostic instruments, so to facilitate a thorough understanding of this disorder.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Bratman S, Knight D. Health food junkies: Orthorexia Nervosa: overcoming the obsession with healthful eating. New York, NY, Broadway Books, 2001

    Google Scholar 

  2. Di Maria F, Formica I. Ortoressia Nervosa: l’ossessione del mangiar sano. Psicologia contemporanea n.194, 2006 (in Italian).

    Google Scholar 

  3. Donini LM, Marsili D, Graziani MP, et al. Orthorexia nervosa: validation of a diagnosis questionnaire. Eat Weight Disord 2005; 10: e28–e32.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Catalina Zamora ML, Bote Bonaechea B, García Sánchez F, et al. Orthorexia nervosa. A new eating behavior disorder? Actas Esp Psiquiatr 2005; 33: 66–8.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Kinzl JF, Hauer K, Traweger C, et al. Orthorexia Nervosa in Dieticians. Psychother Psychosom 2006; 75: 395–6.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Donini LM, Marsili D, Graziani MP, et al. Orthorexia nervosa: a preliminary study with a proposal for diagnosis and an attempt to measure the dimension of the phenomenon. EatWeight Disord 2004; 9: 151–7.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Aksoydan E, Camci N. Prevalence of orthorexia nervosa among Turkish performance artists. Eat Weight Disord 2009; 14: 33–7.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Bagci Bosi AT, Camur D, Güler C. Prevalence of orthorexia nervosa in resident medical doctors in the faculty of medicine (Ankara, Turkey). Appetite 2007; 49: 661–6.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Korinth A, Schiess S, Westenhoefer J. Eating behaviour and eating disorders in students of nutrition sciences. Public Health Nutr 2009; 12: 1–6 [Epub ahead of print].

    Google Scholar 

  10. Ramacciotti CE, Dell’Osso L, Paoli RA, et al. Characteristics of eating disorders patients without a drive for thinness. Int J Eat Disord 2002; 32: 206–12.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Ramacciotti CE, Coli E, Marcacci G, et al. Different pathways towards anorexia nervosa. Nova Science Publishers, 2005.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Eriksson L, Baigi A, Marklund B, et al. Social physique anxiety and sociocultural attitudes toward appearance impact on orthorexia test in fitness participants. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2008; 18: 389–94.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to C. E. Ramacciotti.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ramacciotti, C.E., Perrone, P., Coli, E. et al. Orthorexia nervosa in the general population: A preliminary screening using a self-administered questionnaire (ORTO-15). Eat Weight Disord 16, e127–e130 (2011).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words

  • Orthorexia
  • eating disorders
  • questionnaire
  • threshold
  • prevalence