Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
July/August 2004 Volume 15, Number 4
©2004 Gürze Books
According to the results of a recent study in Finland, which was reported at the recent 2004 International Conference on Eating Disorders in Orlando, FL, muscle dissatisfaction among men is associated with psychopathology similar to that seen for disordered eating among women. Anu Raevuori and a team at Helsinki University Central Hospital assessed 1245 men aged 22-27, as part of the Finnish Twin Cohort Study.
Men who always or usually wanted to be more muscular (16% and 13.9%, respectively, who responded to a questionnaire) made up the muscle dissatisfaction group. They were compared to men who often wished to be more muscular (14.3%), sometimes wished to be more muscular (31.7%), rarely wished to be more muscular (15.7%), or never wished to be more muscular (8.4%).
Men who had used dietary supplements or anabolic steroids continuously during the last 3 months (6.2%) were coded as “SU” men. Those who had tried supplements or steroids occasionally (13.2%) or never (74.8%) were coded “non-SU” men.
Frequent steroid use
More than half of the men with muscle dissatisfaction (53.3%) had used steroids or dietary supplements. Men who were dissatisfied with their musculature had significantly higher scores on the Eating Disorders Inventory than other men, even when this was adjusted for waist circumference. Mean body mass index scores did not differ between the two groups.
Those who were dissatisfied with their muscle mass also had more psychosomatic symptoms and lower levels of life satisfaction, denoting significantly poorer self-assessed mental health. This was true even when adjusting for place of residence and educational level.