New Delhi, January 30: People with an eating disorder are nearly four times more likely to develop addiction to exercise, which may lead to mental health issues, and injury, according to a study.
The study, published in the journal Eating and Weight Disorders – Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity, is the first to measure rates of exercise addiction in groups of people with and without the characteristics of an eating disorder.
An eating disorder is defined by abnormal eating habits that negatively affect a person’s physical or mental health.
They include binge eating disorder, where people eat a large amount in a short period of time.
The meta-analysis examined data from 2,140 participants across nine different studies, including from the UK, the US, Australia and Italy.
It found that people displaying characteristics of an eating disorder are 3.7 times more likely to suffer from addiction to exercise than people displaying no indication of an eating disorder.
“It is known that those with eating disorders are more likely to display addictive personality and obsessive-compulsive behaviours,” said Mike Trott from the Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in the UK.
“We are also aware that having an unhealthy relationship with food often means an increased amount of exercising, but this is the first time that a risk factor has been calculated,” said Trott.