While active gym visitors look like the perfect picture of health, they are now warned that eating disorders can be caused by body-building supplements and should be used with caution. They’re found in local grocery stores, pharmacies that targets food health and even the average college bookstore, but their abuse can cause severe health damage.
Whether enhanced by modern expectations of male appearance or traditional views of how masculinity should look like, numerous men have admitted to using APED (appearance and performance enhancing drugs) in order to reach what they view as the perfect fat to muscle ration within their body.
The researchers from California School of Professional Psychology has conducted the study on 195 men, between the ages of 18 and 65, who have claimed to using APED within the last 30 days of their minimum of twice per week workouts at the gym. The participants have stated that their active exercise was for both fitness and appearance-related purposes.
The supplements used in order to achieve their goal were confirmed as protein bars, creatine, L-cartinine and several others that are widely available in stores. Study leader Richard Achiro and his co-author Peter Theodore, have observed that this should be officially marked on the map of “eating disorders” as most men consume APED to the point of abuse.
The conclusion was drawn after the results showed that 22% of the participants admitted to replacing actual food with supplements, in spite of the fact that it’s warned against on the label and their purpose is not in any way to fulfill nutritional needs.
Even more worryingly, 29% of the men claimed to know the risk of the supplements on their own bodies, and yet progress forward with their intake, while 8% were warned by their physicians to stop or at least cut back. The pressure to achieve what is perceived as “physical perfection” is somehow trumping health risks.
In fact, 3% of the participants have been hospitalized at some point due to abuse of APED that have caused liver or kidney problems.
Over 40% of the participants admitted that they have upped the consumption of body-building supplements over time, so the issue is growing worse with each passing day. The use of legal or illegal workout drugs seems to be driven forward by body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem and gender role conflict, leading men to believe that they’re not living up to the standards of masculinity.
It’s the main purpose of the study to better inform men of the dangers of body-building supplements abuse and set it officially as an ‘eating disorder’ that should be avoided, in order to not risk their health for the benefit of bulky bodies.