Adopting the “bulk and cut” diet, which would allow you to develop muscles and lose body fat, can cause eating disorders and symptoms of muscle dysmorphophobia.
- “Bulk and cut is a common dietary practice in the fitness world and is popularized on social networks,” report the researchers.
- “Just like men, young women and transgender people face pressure to have a specific body,” the team says.
“Bulk and cut”. It is a method characterized by alternating periods of excess calorie consumption and caloric restriction. The goal? Optimize the gain of muscle mass and the loss of body fat. According to an international group of scientists, this diet is not without risks.
2,762 teenagers and young adults
In a study published in the journal Eating and Weight Disorders – Studies on Anorexia Bulimia and Obesityresearchers attempted to determine the prevalence and incidence of the bulk and cut technique among Canadian adolescents and young adults.
For the purposes of the work, the authors analyzed data from a Canadian cohort focusing on adolescent behaviors. A total of 2,762 people aged 16 to 30 participated in this research. The sample included 53.5% women, 38.4% men and 8.1% transgender people. “The prevalence and mean incidence of ‘bulk and cut’ over the past 12 months and past 30 days were estimated”, can we read in the study.
Eating disorders and muscle dysmorphophobia
According to the results, almost half (48.9%) of men, one in five women (21.2%) and transgender participants (21.9%) adopted the “bulk and cut” technique during of the last 12 months. According to the team, doing this diet was associated with a greater desire to become more muscular in all groups of participants, highlighting the link between this eating method and the desire to change one’s body.
“Our results also showed that adopting bulk and cut was linked to symptoms of eating disorders and muscle dysmorphophobia in both men and women,” said Kyle T. Ganson, author of the work, in a statement.
“It is important for health professionals to identify a wide range of eating practices that may be harmful to young people, and not just clinical eating disorder behaviors, such as food restriction. We need to continue our research into these diverse behaviors to to better understand them and implement effective strategies to protect the health and well-being of young people”, he concluded.