College students are faced with many difficult decisions as they begin to gain independence and adjust to new responsibilities. Some of these decisions may include changes in eating behaviors and exercise patterns. Such changes may lead to unhealthy weight control behaviors such as disordered eating or excessive exercise. The combination of controlling eating and exercise behaviors may be especially detrimental and prevalent in college students. The purpose of this research was to determine whether or not there was a relationship between disordered eating and exercise addiction among university students at Minnesota State University, Mankato. A 50-item survey was used to assess the prevalence of disordered eating behaviors and exercise addiction patterns among undergraduate college students. The survey was administered via email to a random sample of 2,947 undergraduate students attending a mid-sized Midwestern public university. This study examined undergraduate students between the ages of 18-25 years with a mean age was 20.68 years. Data indicated a relationship between disordered eating and exercise addiction in both genders which indicated that females and males are exhibiting these weight control behaviors and should be of concern to health educators. In order to establish a greater understanding of the risk factors associated and reduce the prevalence of such unhealthy weight control behaviors, there is a need for additional research in this area.


Dawn M. Larsen

Committee Member

Amy S. Hedman

Committee Member

Diane H. Coursol

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Health Science


Allied Health and Nursing

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License