Muscle dysmorphia: Could it be classified as an addiction to body image?

Andrew C Foster, Gillian W Shorter, Mark D Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Muscle dysmorphia (MD) describes a condition characterised by a misconstrued body image in which
individuals who interpret their body size as both small or weak even though they may look normal or highly muscular.
MD has been conceptualized as a type of body dysmorphic disorder, an eating disorder, and obsessive–compulsive
disorder symptomatology. Method and aim: Through a review of the most salient literature on MD, this paper
proposes an alternative classification of MD – the ‘Addiction to Body Image’ (ABI) model – using Griffiths (2005)
addiction components model as the framework in which to defineMDas an addiction. Results: It is argued the addictive
activity in MD is the maintaining of body image via a number of different activities such as bodybuilding, exercise,
eating certain foods, taking specific drugs (e.g., anabolic steroids), shopping for certain foods, food supplements,
and the use or purchase of physical exercise accessories). In the ABI model, the perception of the positive effects
on the self-body image is accounted for as a critical aspect of the MD condition (rather than addiction to exercise
or certain types of eating disorder). Conclusions: Based on empirical evidence to date, it is proposed that MD
could be re-classified as an addiction due to the individual continuing to engage in maintenance behaviours that may
cause long-term harm.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Behavioral Addictions
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2014

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Body Image
Muscles
Testosterone Congeners
Body Dysmorphic Disorders
Food
Body Size
Dietary Supplements
Eating
Exercise
Pharmaceutical Preparations

Keywords

  • muscle dysmorphia
  • behavioral addiction
  • behavioural addiction
  • body dysmorphic disorder
  • body image
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • eating disorder
  • Addiction

Cite this

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title = "Muscle dysmorphia: Could it be classified as an addiction to body image?",
abstract = "Background: Muscle dysmorphia (MD) describes a condition characterised by a misconstrued body image in whichindividuals who interpret their body size as both small or weak even though they may look normal or highly muscular.MD has been conceptualized as a type of body dysmorphic disorder, an eating disorder, and obsessive–compulsivedisorder symptomatology. Method and aim: Through a review of the most salient literature on MD, this paperproposes an alternative classification of MD – the ‘Addiction to Body Image’ (ABI) model – using Griffiths (2005)addiction components model as the framework in which to defineMDas an addiction. Results: It is argued the addictiveactivity in MD is the maintaining of body image via a number of different activities such as bodybuilding, exercise,eating certain foods, taking specific drugs (e.g., anabolic steroids), shopping for certain foods, food supplements,and the use or purchase of physical exercise accessories). In the ABI model, the perception of the positive effectson the self-body image is accounted for as a critical aspect of the MD condition (rather than addiction to exerciseor certain types of eating disorder). Conclusions: Based on empirical evidence to date, it is proposed that MDcould be re-classified as an addiction due to the individual continuing to engage in maintenance behaviours that maycause long-term harm.",
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Muscle dysmorphia: Could it be classified as an addiction to body image? / Foster, Andrew C; Shorter, Gillian W; Griffiths, Mark D.

In: Journal of Behavioral Addictions, Vol. 4, No. 1, 03.02.2014, p. 1-5.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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