1Universidade de Ribeirão Preto - UNAERP, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, 2Departamento de Psicologia - Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.
Background and objective. Muscularity-oriented disordered eating is a recently described form of pathological eating behavior, which include rigid adherence to dietary rules, the regulation of protein consumption and eating less/more to influence muscularity. Little is known about its prevalence and associated factors; therefore, this study evaluated possible differences in symptoms of muscularity-oriented eating behaviors between and active and sedentary men and women.
Methods. A sample of 1246 participants (634 men and 612 women) with a mean age of 24.02 years old (SD = 5.19) completed the Muscularity-Oriented Eating Test (MOET) and a sociodemographic questionnaire online.
Results. Sixty-five percent of participants were classified as active (n = 809) and 35% were sedentary (n = 437). A two-way ANOVA with gender (women vs. men) and physical activity (active vs. sedentary) as independent variables and the MOET scores as the dependent variable was conducted. Results demonstrated no significant effect of gender on muscularity-oriented disordered eating, F(1,1242) = 0.001, p = .973, ηp2 < .001, but a significant main effect of physical activity, F(1,1242) = 86.65, p < .001, ηp2 < .07, was found. The interaction between factors was also significant, F(1, 1242) = 9.09, p < .01, ηp2 < .01. Active participants had significantly higher symptoms of muscularity-oriented disordered eating than sedentary ones. Active men (M = 14.80, SD = 9.24) had significant higher scores than sedentary men (M = 8.52, SD = 6.84) and sedentary women (M = 10.04, SD = 7.27) (p < .001). Active women (M = 13.25, SD = 7.85) also had higher scores than sedentary men and women (p < .001). There was no difference between men and women within groups.
Conclusions. Active men and women are at great risk of developing symptoms of muscularity-oriented eating behaviors compared with sedentary adults. Funding. FAPESP (2020/11291-0).
Keywords: eating disorder, muscularity, adults.