Disordered eating and exercise behaviour amongst young men / Suzy Veitch. - Loughborough University, 2009
Objective: Recent research suggests a higher prevalence of body image dissatisfaction and subsequent disordered eating and exercise behaviour amongst men than was previously assumed. This project aimed to assess the prevalence of such attitudes and behaviours.
Method: 3 men were interviewed regarding their eating and exercise behaviours. They performed a somatomorphic matrix test as a means of assessing body image. Surveys were distributed and completed by 59 men to assess the prevalence of disordered behaviours. The surveys included the EAT-26, the Drive for Muscularity Scale and a selection of questions from the EDET and the EDE-Q5.
Results: 2 of the men interviewed displayed abnormal eating and exercise attitudes related to bodybuilding behaviour and similar body image, including obsession with food, strict dietary behaviour, compulsive constant over-eating, extensive use of supplements and anabolic steroid abuse. 37.3% of survey participants displayed high pathology on either the EAT-26, the DMS or both. 100% of bodybuilding participants were a part of this group. A significantly larger number of participants scored highly on the DMS than on the EAT-26.
Conclusions: Body image dissatisfaction is prevalent in men and requires much further investigation and attention. In contrast to women, much dissatisfaction in men centres on a desire to increase size and muscularity, resulting in disordered eating patterns and excessive exercise. Rather than restrict food intake, many men over-eat in order to achieve these goals.