Young people struggle much more with body image disorders than thought


Young men who are overly concerned about muscle building have a significantly increased risk of depression, weekend drinking and a diet that is not linked to obesity.

They also have four times the likelihood of using legal and illegal supplements and anabolic steroids, according to a new study by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Harvard University.

The study also shows that ten percent of men have what is considered the most common type of body image disorder. That is, they think they are too fat and want to be thinner.

According to the study, more than one in three young men have been dieting in the last year. His diet was not related to obesity.

The study brings to light many alarming findings. It is the first of its kind in Norway and internationally to investigate men and their relationship to body and muscles.

The study makes it clear that boys and girls struggle much more with body image disorders than we know.

You want the same body as Ronaldo

"I'm thinking of taking anabolic steroids."

"I do not think my chest is muscular enough."

"I feel guilty if I miss a workout."

These and similar statements were made by 2460 men aged 18 to 32 years who participated in the study of Trine Tetlie Eik-Nes.

She is an associate professor in the NTNU Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Sciences. The study was recently published in theInternational Journal of Eating Disordersand suggests that many young men are concerned about motivation for muscle.

"The problem arises when the bodies of professional athletes like Ronaldo become ideal for young regulars who have jobs, studies and family." Training has to be your full-time job if you want to look like Ronaldo. a few thousand people from the world's population who make a living out of sports. "Some people train as if they were in the squad, but they are just practitioners." That's the difference we need to worry about, "says Eik-Nes.

She added: "Girls should be thin and have small waists, boys should have wide shoulders and large muscles, these are the narrow ideals that young people grow today, but this unrealistic body image is so challenging for men, . for women. "

Boys asked more appropriate questions for girls

She believes that the challenges of body image faced by men have been ignored by researchers, parents and health professionals.

"We have been aware of girls and eating disorders for a long time, and how unfortunate it is to grow up with such skinny models." Studies have also been done with young men, but they asked the same questions as girls. so the questions given to the girls are totally wrong if we want to find out how young people see themselves and their own bodies, "says Eik-Nes.

Muscles Work as Cosmetics

Previous studies have shown that boys who are overweight, or lean and thin, are at a higher risk of developing body image disorders when young. The study confirmed this idea, since men's desire for a muscular body was not related to their weight.

According to Eik-Nes, muscles become a form of cosmetics for men obsessed with muscles. They are not building their strength to ski faster, improve football or improve their health.

"They are just exercising to build their muscles without the training having anything to do with muscle function. That's a big difference," she says.

The challenge of being satisfied with your own body is the same at all levels of education. People who are highly educated are no longer satisfied with their bodies than anyone else, the study indicates.

Should trigger alarms

"This push for muscle can be a sign that young people do not have dominion over their lives, but they may feel they are mastering how to exercise. In that context, in simple terms, you could say that girls vomit while boys are much more concerned about exercise than normal, "says Eik-Nes.

She emphasizes that exercise alone promotes health. It is when training takes life that it can be problematic.

"Parents' alarms should skyrocket if they have a young man who is in the gym every day, who just wants to eat chicken and broccoli and who consumes protein shakes or supplements all the time.If the whole world is about training, parents should take the time to talk to them – for example, asking questions about what they are actually training, "says Eik-Nes.

Young Americans were interviewed for the study, which was conducted in the United States.

"The culture and the models in the Western world are basically the same.I do not think Norwegian men would respond in a very different way from American men.This is the first study that shows the relationships between the desire of muscles between men and the risks "We have to go ahead and investigate the extent of the problem, risk factors and treatment options," says Eik-Nes.



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