Anorexic-like behaviors in dietetic majors and other student populations

Carol Johnston, F. Scott Christopher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The purpose of this investigation was to examine whether or not female university dietetic majors report elevated rates of abnormal eating practices and anorexic-like behaviors when compared with other female university populations. Measures designed to assess the behavioral and psychological traits common to anorexia nervosa and various abnormal eating practices were administered to three groups of females: dietetic majors, students with various majors enrolled in an introductory nutrition course, and students with various majors enrolled in an introductory family studies course. Female students enrolled in the introductory nutrition course scored significantly higher on several of the measures when compared with the other two female populations. These women scored more pathological on measures of a drive for thinness, bulimia, and body dissatisfaction; and they were more likely to vomit and possess less positive eating habits than the dietetic majors and/or family studies students. The female dietetic majors did not differ from the female students in the family studies course on any parameter tested. The present study does not support the current contention that female dietetic majors have high rates of anorexic-like behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-153
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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