When Eating Right, Is Measured Wrong! A Validation and Critical Examination of the ORTO-15 Questionnaire in German.PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0135772.Plos
The characteristic trait of individuals developing a pathological obsession and preoccupation with healthy foods and a restrictive and avoidant eating behavior is described as orthorexia nervosa (ON). For ON, neither universal diagnosis criteria nor valid tools for large-scale epidemiologic assessment are available in the literature. The aim of the current study is to analyze the psychometric properties of a translated German version of the ORTO-15 questionnaire. The German version of the ORTO-15, a eating behavior and dieting habits questionnaire were completed by 1029 German-speaking participants (74.6% female) aged between 19 and 70 years (M = 31.21 ± 10.43 years). Our results showed that after confirmatory factor analysis, the best fitting model of the original version is a single-factor structure (9-item shortened version: ORTO-9-GE). The final model showed only moderate internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = .67), even after omitting 40% of the original question. A total of 69.1% participants showed orthorectic tendencies. Orthorectic tendencies are associated with special eating behavior features (dieting frequency, vegetarian and vegan diet). Education level did not influence ON tendency and nutritional students did not show higher ON tendency compared to students from other disciplines. This study is the first attempt to translate and to evaluate the psychometric properties of a German version of the ORTO-15 questionnaire. The ORTO-9-GE questionnaire, however, is only a mediocre tool for assessing orthorectic tendencies in individuals and shows moderate reliability and internal consistency. Our research suggests, that future studies are needed to provide more reliable and valid assessment tools to investigate orthorexia nervosa.