Men who are obsessed with achieving the perfect abs are at a ‘significantly’ higher risk of depression, a new study has warned.
Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Harvard University have analysed the link between male body image disorder and mental health.
They found that body-obsessed men have a higher risk of not only depression, but also weekend binge drinking, and using illegal supplements – including anabolic steroids.
The study also showed that 10% of men have body image disorder, in which they think they are too fat and want to be thinner.
To reach these conclusions, the researchers interviewed 2,460 men aged 18-32 about their gym habits and views about their body.
Some common statements included ‘I feel guilty if I miss a workout,’ ‘I don’t think my chest is muscular enough’, and ‘I’m thinking of taking anabolic steroids.’
Dr Trine Tetlie Eik-Nes, who led the study, said: “The problem arises when the bodies of professional athletes like Ronaldo become the ideal for regular young men who have jobs, studies and family. Training has to be your full-time job if you want to look like Ronaldo.