Bigorexia, also known as muscle dysmorphia or exercise bulimia, is getting some buzz this week after sports psychologist Dr. Michele Kerulis claimed that as many as 45 percent of men are unhappy with their bodies.
Bigorexia is a disorder that causes the mostly male victims to become obsessed with working out to build up their muscles.
In multiple interviews Dr. Kerulis said that 45 percent of men are dissatisfied with their bodies. “One in ten people diagnosed with an eating disorder is a man,” she stated.
She didn’t actually put a number on how many guys had a workout disorder. But some media sources kinda slid the numbers together and decided that as many of 45 percent of males were impacted by muscle dysmorphia.
We all know that overdoing it can lead to physical injury. And Kerulis said that bigorexia also carries mental health problems including anger, depression, or mania.
In an extended interview with CBS Miami, she said that men of all ages have developed bigorexia: “This obsession can start quickly or it can begin over a period of time. We see psychological abnormalities including irritability, angry outbursts, which sometimes people would call a roid rage.”
OK, we all know that guy. But he isn’t 45 percent of all guys, is he? That’s almost half of the male population. Has anyone really noticed this widespread outbreak of bulked-up dudes?
In March, Australian researcher Dr. Stuart Murray and colleagues released their findings into the mentality of men who develop anorexia or bigorexia. Murray said that men are under increasing pressure to define their masculinity. From what his team saw, the rate of once-rare bigorexia did seem to be growing.
But they reported nothing to suggest that anything like nearly half the male population was affected by muscle dysmorphia.
My conclusion? The claim that 45 percent of men are affected by bigorexia came right out of somebody’s hat.
[photo by Artem Furman via Shutterstock]