Abstract The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between disordered eating and three psychological variables (obsessive and depressive symptoms, self-esteem) and body mass index (BMI) in a sample of male and female college students in Turkey. Maudsley Obsessive–Compulsive Inventory (MOCI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSES), Eating Attitude Test (EAT), and Bulimic Investigatory Test, Edinburgh (BITE) scales were administered to 408 college students (279 women; 129 men). By multiple regression analysis, the scales of MOCI, BDI, RSES and BMI were used as potential predictors of EAT and BITE scores for each gender. Obsessionality and BMI were the strongest predictors of bulimic and anorexic symptoms in women. In men, while the strongest predictors of bulimic symptoms were the depressive and obsessive symptoms, the best predictor of anorexic symptoms was obsession scores. There were significant differences and some similarities between male and female Turkish college students.