The Transition from thinness-oriented to muscularity-oriented disordered eating in adolescent males

a clinical observation

Stuart B. Murray*, Scott Griffiths, Deborah Mitchison, Jonathan M. Mond

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose Robust empirical evidence has illustrated a rising prevalence of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating among males, noting that both may be oriented more toward muscularity—as opposed to thinness-oriented concerns. While an elevated prevalence of premorbid anorexia nervosa (AN) has been noted among those with muscle dysmorphia, little evidence has examined the process of this transition from thinness-oriented to muscularity-oriented disordered eating. Methods This clinical observation presents a case of AN in an adolescent male, whose symptom presentation transitioned during the course of treatment for AN, into more muscularity-oriented disordered eating. Results Despite the core body image disturbance and disordered eating behaviors being retained, the behavioral expression of muscularity-oriented disordered eating was difficult to detect during treatment for AN, and he was discharged from treatment as his muscularity-oriented disordered eating escalated. Conclusions Transdiagnostic crossover between thinness-oriented and muscularity-oriented disordered eating represents an important clinical concern, which may be challenging to measure and assess. Implications for treatment are discussed, and the early detection of muscularity-oriented disordered eating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-355
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • muscle dysmorphia
  • anorexia nervosa
  • muscularity-oriented disordered eating
  • male eating disorders

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