Predictors of muscularity-oriented disordered eating behaviors in U.S. young adults

a prospective cohort study

Jason M. Nagata*, Stuart B. Murray, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Andrea K. Garber, Deborah Mitchison, Scott Griffiths

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To determine adolescent predictors of muscularity-oriented disordered eating behaviors in young men and women using a nationally representative longitudinal sample in the United States and to examine differences by sex. Method: We used nationally representative longitudinal cohort data collected from baseline (11–18 years old, 1994–1995) and 7-year follow-up (18–24 years old, 2001–2002) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. We examined adolescent demographic, behavioral, and mental health predictors of young adult muscularity-oriented disordered eating behaviors defined as eating more or differently to gain weight or bulk up, supplements to gain weight or bulk up, or androgenic anabolic steroid use at 7-year follow-up. Results: Of the 14,891 included participants, 22% of males and 5% of females reported any muscularity-oriented disordered eating behavior at follow-up in young adulthood. Factors recorded at adolescence that were prospectively associated with higher odds of muscularity-oriented disordered eating in both sexes included black race, exercising to gain weight, self-perception of being underweight, and lower body mass index z-score. In addition, participation in weightlifting; roller-blading, roller-skating, skate-boarding, or bicycling; and alcohol among males and depressive symptoms among females during adolescence were associated with higher odds of muscularity-oriented disordered eating in young adulthood. Conclusions: Interventions to prevent muscularity-oriented disordered eating behaviors may target at-risk youth, particularly those of black race or who engage in exercise to gain weight. Future research should examine longitudinal health outcomes associated with muscularity-oriented disordered eating behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1380–1388
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume52
Issue number12
Early online date20 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Keywords

  • body image
  • males
  • muscle
  • steroids
  • disordered eating
  • weight control
  • young adults

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