A new research presented on Thursday at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention suggested that the overuse and dependence on bodybuilding supplements may be a sign of eating disorder. Several supplements including creatine, whey protein, L-cartinine, used for enhancing physique are available in stores, medical outlets and online.
According to researchers, the increasing objectification of men’s bodies, the need to build power and lean muscle tissue are the reasons for the overuse of supplements. Researchers at Allaint International University, Los Angeles claim that the overuse is growing and harmful.
Richard Achiro of California School of Professional Psychology said at the college that the marketing efforts are tailored to addressing underlying insecurities associated with masculinity, and they present these products as a solution.
Achiro and co-author Peter Theodore, PhD, also at the California School of Professional Psychology, said in a statement:
The most critical implication for these findings is to put risky/excessive legal supplement use on the map as an issue facing a significant number of men. Body-conscious men who are driven by psychological factors to attain a level of physical or masculine ‘perfection’ are prone to use these supplements and drugs in a manner that is excessive and which was demonstrated in this study to be a variant of disordered eating. As legal supplements become increasingly prevalent around the globe, it is all the more important to assess and treat the psychological causes and effects of excessive use of these drugs and supplements.”
Though the men in the study looked fit and healthy, the deterioration of the body is likely to be linked to underlying emotional issues.
The study was conducted with 195 participants in the age of 18-65, with a mean age of 33. All of them had taken legal supplements in the past 30 days, and work out at least two times a week. Researchers also used an online survey to collect information on supplement use, gender conflicts, body image, eating habits and self-esteem.
The study found that 29 percent of men were concerned to use supplements, but 40 percent of them had increased its use, which researchers believe that it indicated underlying psychological and emotional issues. Three percent of the participants revealed that they were hospitalized for kidney and liver problems related to its usage, and eight percent told that their doctor had told them to cut down or stop the supplements.
A major issue is that the supplement usage is not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the proprietary blends of many companies are not listed at all.[ Source ] [ Via ]