uggested men can become preoccupied with their muscles, Tylka said this research shows men are also very worried about their body fat.
“Not only are men being targeted to be muscular, but they also feel they have to be very lean to show off their muscularity.”
And the more dissatisfied that men in the study felt with their muscularity and body fat, the more they engaged in unhealthy behaviors, findings showed.
For example, men who were not happy with their muscles were more likely to say that their weight-training schedule interfered with other parts of their life, that others think they work out too much, that they used protein supplements, and even that they thought about using steroids.
Men who were dissatisfied with their body fat were more likely to report symptoms of eating disorders, such as avoiding certain foods, being terrified about being overweight, and being preoccupied with a desire to be thinner.
Tylka said there is a difference between men who exercise and watch their diet for their health, and those who do so because they feel pressure to change their bodies.
“It is good to exercise, to lift weights, and to eat the foods that make your body function well,” she said.
“But it is not good to be preoccupied with gaining muscle mass. Those that are preoccupied are not working out to get healthier, they are working out to bulk up. They are not eating healthy, they are cutting out major food groups like carbohydrates and eating massive amounts of protein.”
While men in American society are feeling increasing pressures to achieve the perfect body, Tylka said women still get a disproportionate share of the pressure.
“Women still get objectified more than men, but men are feeling the pressure too.”
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