p-ISSN: 1300-0551
e-ISSN: 2587-1498

Yasemin Karaağaç, Fatma İrem Çetinkaya, Ezgi Bellikci Koyu

Nutrition and Dietetics Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, İzmir Katip Çelebi University, Izmir, Türkiye

Keywords: University students, student athlete, exercise dependence, eating attitude, orthorexia nervosa


Objective: Exercise dependence and eating disorders are growing up among university students. This study aimed to compare exercise dependence, eating attitude, and orthorexic tendencies between regular students and student athletes.

Material and Methods: A total of 168 students, 66 of whom were athletes participated in this study. Participants completed Exercise Dependence Scale-21 (EDS-21), Eating Attitude Test-40 (EAT-40), and Orthorexia Nervosa-11 (ORTO-11) scales. Anthropometric measurements were performed by the researchers. The data were analyzed using the SPSS version 25 and the significance level was accepted as p<0.05.

Results: While there were no students with exercise dependence among regular students, 10.6% of the student athletes were found to be exercise dependent (p<0.001). Orthorexic tendencies of student athletes were found to be higher (p=0.045). There was no significant difference between the groups in terms of eating attitude disorder (p=0.253). The EDS-21 scores were moderately positively correlated with the orthorexic tendency (r=0.446) and the EAT-40 scores (r=0.397) (for each p<0.05). Sports experience was also associated with exercise dependence (r=0.363) and orthorexic tendency (r=0.195) (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Student athletes, especially those with a longer sports experience are at higher risk of exercise dependence and have higher orthorexic tendencies compared to regular students. Health professionals who involve in the sports teams should be aware of these risks and monitor the students in terms of exercise dependence and orthorexia nervosa.

Cite this article as: Karaagac Y, Cetinkaya FI, Bellikci Koyu E. Comparison of exercise dependence, eating attitude disorder and risk of orthorexia nervosa among regular students and student athletes. Turk J Sports Med. 2022, 57(4):171-6; https://doi.org/10.47447/tjsm.0675

Ethics Committee Approval

Approval for this study was obtained from the Institutional Ethics Committee of İzmir Katip Çelebi University, İzmir, Türkiye (Decision No: 419 Date: 26.09.2019).

Author Contributions

Concept: FİÇ, EBK; Design: YK, FİÇ, EBK; Supervision: EBK; Materials: FİÇ; Data Collection and Processing: YK, FİÇ; Analysis and Interprepation: YK, FİÇ, EBK; Literature Review: YK, FİÇ; Writing Manuscript: YK; Critical Reviews: EBK.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to authorship and/or publication of the article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or publication of this article.