Prevalence and correlates of exercise addiction in the presence vs absence of indicated eating disorders
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 17:15 authored by Mike Trott, Lin Yang, Sarah E. Jackson, Joseph Firth, Claire Gillvray, Brendon Stubbs, Lee Smith
Despite the many benefits of regular, sustained exercise, there is evidence that exercise can become addictive, to the point where the exerciser experiences negative physiological and psychological symptoms, including withdrawal symptoms upon cessation, training through injury and the detriment of social relationships. Furthermore, recent evidence suggests that the aetiology of exercise addiction is different depending on the presence or absence of eating disorders. The aim of this study was to explore what extent was eating disorder status, body dysmorphic disorder, reasons for exercise, social media use and fitness instructor status were associated with exercise addiction, and to determine differences according to eating disorder status. The key findings showed that the aetiology of exercise addiction differed according to eating disorder status, with variables including social media use, exercise motivation and ethnicity being uniquely correlated with exercise addiction only in populations with indicated eating disorders. Furthermore, body dysmorphic disorder was highly prevalent in subjects without indicated eating disorders, and could be a primary condition in which exercise addiction is a symptom. It is recommended that clinicians and practitioners working with patients who present with symptoms of exercise addiction should be screened for eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder before treatments are considered.
Publication titleFrontiers in Sports and Active Living
- Accepted version