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Revista médica de Chile

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BEHAR, ROSA  and  MOLINARI, DANIELA. Muscle dysmorphia, body image and eating behaviors in two male populations. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2010, vol.138, n.11, pp.1386-1394. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Muscle dysmorphia or vigorexia is a disorder in which a person becomes obsessed with the idea that he or she is not muscular enough. Aim: To assess physical exercise, eating behaviors and the presence of muscle dysmorphia among weightlifters and medical students. Subjects and Methods: Cross sectional evaluation of 88 male weightlifters aged 27 ± 7 years and 84 male medical students aged 22 ± 1 year was made. Eating behaviors were evaluated using the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-40) and the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI). The perception of body image was assessed using the Graduate Hannover Scale (GHS). Results: Prevalence of muscle dysmorphia among weightlifters was 13.6%. Both groups did not differ in body dissatisfaction. Interest in appearance among weightlifters was significantly higher than in students and ranged significantly higher in EAT-40 and EDI (p < 0.001). Other sports were practiced with the same frequency by weightlifters and students. Weightlifters expended more time than students exercising to improve their appearance (p < 0.005). Forty two percent of weightlifters with muscle dysmorphia displayed abuse of anabolics and 67% used other substances to improve their performance (p < 0.005). Conclusions: The presence of muscle dysmorphia among weightlifters was confirmed. They were dissatisfied with their body image and more concerned with their physical appearance than those without muscle dysmorphia and/or students. Their anabolic abuse rate was high. Our findings were similar to those reported in the international literature.

Keywords : Body image; Weight lifting; Weight perception.

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