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Mental illness is often difficult to treat, especially eating disorders. This potentially deadly illness is particularly harmful in teenagers. A recent study released in the International Journal of Eating Disorders suggested that teens who exercise to gain weight can develop a newer type of eating disorder, called muscularity-related eating disorder. According to the study, muscularity-related eating disorders could be the most dangerous eating disorder of all.

The reason this eating disorder is hazardous is because it involves eating more calories to gain weight and bulk up, and using supplements or anabolic steroids to do so more quickly. Teens with muscularity-related eating disorders exercise excessively, consume colossal amounts of protein, cut calories, and restrict carbs and fat to achieve a more muscular physique, at the expense of their mental and physical health.

The study, which followed a representative sample of 14,891 teenagers starting when they were about 15 years old, followed these adolescents until they were between 18 to 24 years old, and compiled statistics showed that 1 out of every 20 females, and more than 1 out of every 5 males, had developed at least one symptoms of a muscularity-related eating disorder.

Without adequate treatment, this eating disorder can escalate to muscle dysmorphia, a condition characterized by exercising obsessively and being extremely preoccupied with physique. Many of these individuals become socially withdrawn and depressed, but in the most devastating cases, young adults experience heart failure from insufficient nutrition and overexertion.

Alarmingly, because these individuals seem focused on health rather than overall wellbeing, the bulk of these individuals with muscularity-related eating disorders go unnoticed, and these young people are actually praised for their physiques, which only serves to fuel their addiction.

At Kantor & Kantor, LLP, our team of experienced attorneys is dedicated to getting you the eating disorder treatment you or your child needs. If you or someone you know was denied insurance coverage benefits for an eating disorder, please contact us for a free consultation. We understand, and we can help!