An eating disorder increases a person's risk of exercise addiction by almost four times, which may result in physical harm and mental health problems. The research is the first to compare the rates of exercise addiction in populations of persons with and without the hallmarks of an eating disorder. It was published in the journal Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia, and Obesity.
Abnormal eating patterns that have a detrimental impact on a person's physical or mental health are what constitute an eating disorder. They include binge eating disorder, which causes sufferers to consume a huge quantity of food quickly.
Data from 2,140 people in nine separate research, including ones from the UK, US, Australia, and Italy, were analyzed as part of the meta-analysis.
It was shown that individuals who exhibit eating disorder symptoms are 3.7 times more likely to develop an exercise addiction than those who do not exhibit any eating disorder symptoms.
According to Mike Trott from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in the UK, those who have eating disorders are more likely to have addictive personalities and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
We are known that having a poor connection with food often results in more exercise, but this is the first time a risk factor has been determined, according to Trott.
The researchers stated that, especially at the beginning of the year, it is normal to strive to lead healthier lives by exercising more and eating better.
However, they cautioned that it's crucial to control this behavior and avoid "crash diets" and other methods that completely cut out particular foods since they may quickly result in eating disorders.
"Our research demonstrates that exhibiting eating disorder symptoms dramatically increases the likelihood of having an unhealthy connection with exercise, and this may have severe implications, including mental health concerns and injury," said Trott.
The researchers recommended that health practitioners who treat patients with eating problems prioritize monitoring their activity levels.
This is due to the fact that excessive activity in this demographic has been linked to major medical disorders like fractures, higher rates of cardiovascular disease in younger patients, and higher overall mortality, they said.