The American Psychological Association (APA) has released research presented at its recent annual convention suggesting that men who practice excessive use of supplements during weight training may be suffering from an eating disorder.
The news broke this week and was featured in a FOX News story published Thursday. At the heart of the research is the recognition that various social pressures make men feel insecure about not having a muscular body.
As a result, men turn to supplements as a catalyst for reshaping their bodies to reflect images portrayed in magazines and movies.
The APA’s report noted that advertisers brand their supplements as a quick way to develop a strong body.
The downside is that supplements — creatine, whey protein and L-carnitine are popular — can deteriorate a man’s body from the inside out.
Richard Achiro, the study’s lead author, was quoted as saying he questioned whether the use of supplements was worth risk, asking if “excessive diarrhea,” and the “giving out” of “livers and kidneys” was worth a sculpted physique.
Even if they look good on the outside, do they have excessive diarrhea? Are their livers and kidneys starting to give out from having to detox toxins? Are they adhering to this regimented style of eating in such a way to compromise their relationships and work life?
More than 190 men between the ages of 18 and 65 participated in the study. Researchers pointed out that the use of supplements can be classified as an eating disorder because 29 percent of men said they were concerned about the adverse effects of supplements but continued to use them.
NPR pointed to data in the study which showed that nearly one in four men in the study had started to replace meals with supplements. This pattern points to “inappropriate” use of the substances and could be indicative of “behaviors associated with eating disorders.”