CitationLayman, Harley M.; Keirns, Natalie G.; Hawkins, Misty A. W.; & Nagata, Jason M. (2022). Does seeking the brawns impact the brain?: An investigation of muscularity-oriented disordered behaviors and cognitive function. Body Image. vol. 42 pp. 307-314
AbstractShifts in body-image ideals over the past 30 years towards leaner, muscular bodies have revealed new health behaviors that may be related to cognitive function. This study objective was to investigate prospective associations between a drive for muscularity and/or muscularity-oriented disordered behaviors (MODBs) with cognition. Data were drawn from Add Health, a nationally representative longitudinal cohort dataset. Drive for muscularity and MODB engagement were assessed in emerging adulthood (ages 18–26). Cognition was measured via immediate word recall, delayed-word recall, and number recall at 7-years later (ages 24–32). Analyzes were conducted in 1976 participants with available data. A one-way ANCOVA revealed that those with a drive for muscularity had lower immediate word recall (F(3, 12,819) = 3.845, p = .009) and delayed word recall (F(3, 12,807) = 5.933, p < .001) scores than other weight goal groups adjusting for covariates. Hierarchical linear regressions between individual MODBs and cognitive outcomes showed that legal performance-enhancing substance use (βs = 0.06–0.07, p < .05) and exercise (β = 0.06, p < .05) were positively associated with some cognition scores. Conversely, lifting weights (β = − 0.06, p < .05) and eating different foods than usual (β = − 0.05, p < .05) exhibited negative associations with some of the cognitive outcomes. Future research should be conducted to examine other potential outcomes related to the drive for muscularity and associated MODBs.
Keyword(s)Drive for muscularity,
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleBody Image
Author(s)Layman, Harley M.
Keirns, Natalie G.
Hawkins, Misty A. W.
Nagata, Jason M.