Is There Any Relationship Between Body Image Perception, Eating Disorders, and Muscle Dysmorphic Disorders in Male Bodybuilders?

Am J Mens Health. 2018 Sep;12(5):1746-1758. doi: 10.1177/1557988318786868. Epub 2018 Jul 13.


Bodybuilding has increasingly become popular between males since male body shape has become a subject of interest in the last decades. Bodybuilders have desired to gain more muscle and paid attention to their body shape. Based on this purpose, they have string rules that include restrictive eating and excessive exercise program. Recent research has demonstrated that desiring more muscular body shape exhibits eating behavior problems and body dissatisfaction issues in bodybuilders. Limited research exists on the relationship between body dissatisfaction and eating disorders in male bodybuilders. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between body image disturbance and eating disorders in 120 male bodybuilders. The Eating Attitude Test (EAT-40) was used to determine eating disorders, the Muscle Dysmorphia Disorder Inventory was used to determine bigorexia symptoms, and Bodybuilder Image Grid-Original (BIG O) and Scaled (BIG S) forms were used to detect the factors associated with body dissatisfaction. There was a positive relationship between Eating Attitude Test and Muscle Dysmorphia Disorder Inventory total scores. Eating Attitude Test was positively correlated with both fat and muscle dissatisfaction. Our results indicated that eating disorder psychopathology is positively related to body dissatisfaction and body dysmorphic disorders in male bodybuilders.

Keywords: body dissatisfaction; bodybuilders; eating disorders.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders / psychology
  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Men's Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Turkey
  • Weight Lifting / psychology
  • Weight Lifting / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult