When Bigger Is Not Better

bigorexia

Dear Mr. Dad: A few months ago, you wrote a column about how boys can have eating disorders, including anorexia. Since anorexia is usually about body image, I started wondering whether boys’ body image issues could be making them obsessed with building muscle. Is that possible?

A: It’s not only possible, it’s a real condition. What you’re describing is technically called “muscle dysmorphia,” but because that’s such a mouthful, a lot of people call it “bigorexia” instead. A strange word, but one that really gets the point across. Anorexics look in the mirror and, no matter how skinny they are, they see a fat person. Bigorexics look in the mirror and, no matter how buff they are, they see a 98-pound weakling. The condition affects mainly men, but some women can suffer from it as well.
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