Quest for a Perfect Gym Body Put You at Risk for New Eating Disorder, Study Suggests
How many of you are using legal bodybuilding supplements like branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), creatine, whey protein, glutamine, and L-Carnitine, products widely available in grocery and health food stores, to help achieve the perfect lean muscle body?
A new study suggests that many men who prioritize their workouts are abusing legal bodybuilding supplements to achieve their lean and muscular look.
More than 40% of men surveyed by researchers from the California School of Professional Psychology in Alhambra said they had increased their use of supplements such as protein bars, creatine powder and glutamine capsules over time. The researchers said they were alarmed to discover that 29% of the men acknowledged that their use of the supplements might be damaging their health.
The study of Richard Achiro, PhD. and a team at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, Los Angeles, was released at the American Psychological Assn.’s annual meeting in Toronto. The men studied were 18+, had consumed APEDS within 30 days of the study, and worked out at least twice a week.
From the study:
Structural equation modeling revealed that internalization of cultural standards of attractiveness (i.e., the degree to which one has internalized the body ideal perpetuated by media representations of lean and muscular men), self-esteem, gender role conflict, and body dissatisfaction each play significant roles in determining risky body change behaviors (i.e., excessive legal APED use and disordered eating) in gym-active men. Specifically, body dissatisfaction was found to mediate the relationship between internalization of cultural standards of attractiveness and risky body change behaviors and to partially mediate the relationship between self-esteem and risky body change behaviors. Self-esteem was also found to have a direct negative relationship with risky body change behaviors while gender role conflict (i.e., the degree to which rigid views about one’s masculinity causes distress) was found to have a direct positive relationship with body change behaviors.
More info from the study:
Twenty-two percent said they have used the supplements to replace meals. And more than 40 percent said their use had increased over time. In the most extreme cases, 8 percent said they’d been told by their doctor to cut back on supplement use and 3 percent had been hospitalized for kidney or liver problems linked to their excessive use of the supplements.