Body dissatisfaction is central to clinically diagnosed eating disorders (ED) and seems to be important in causing other non-clinical disorders, including orthorexia nervosa (ON). It can also affect eating behaviors. The aim of this study was to assess the associations of ON tendency with dietary patterns (DPs) and body satisfaction. The data were collected in 2017 through questionnaire survey among 1120 students of health-oriented and other academic programs from seven universities in Poland. Principal components analysis (PCA) was conducted to derive DPs and body satisfaction factors. Six DPs, such as, ‘High-sugar products & snacks’, ‘Fresh products & nuts’, ‘Fatty products & dressings’, ‘Oils & potatoes’, ‘Dairy products & whole-meal bread’, ‘Meat’, and two body satisfaction factors, such as, ‘Bottom body & weight’, and ‘Upper body’ were identified. ON tendency was measured using ORTO-15 questionnaire with both cut-offs, i.e., 35 and 40. Logistic regression analysis was used to verify associations between ON tendency, body satisfaction factors, and DPs. More students of health related majors were characterized by ON tendency in comparison to students of other majors (35.9 vs. 37.2; p
< 0.001). More women were dissatisfied with ‘Bottom body & weight compared to men (<0.001). The higher the body mass index (BMI), the more people were dissatisfied with ‘Bottom body & weight’ (p
< 0.001). More students with ON tendency were satisfied with their ‘Upper body’ than those without ON tendency, but there were no differences in ON tendency in regard to ‘Bottom body & weight’ satisfaction. ON tendency was associated with more frequent consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and less frequent consumption of products high in sugar, snacks, fatty products and dressings. Using cut-off at 35 in ORTO-15 seems to be more appropriate than cut-off at 40 to identify external variables describing ON. Future research on orthorexia nervosa should use other research tools than ORTO-15 to better identify individuals with ON and to confirm our findings.
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