Purpose: Appearance and performance-enhancing drugs and supplements (APEDS) are used to enhance muscle growth, athletic performance, and physical appearance. The aim of this study was to examine the lifetime use of APEDS and associations with eating disorder and muscle dysmorphia symptoms among cisgender sexual minority people. Methods: Participants were cisgender sexual minority people (1090 gay men, 100 bisexual plus men, 564 lesbian women, and 507 bisexual plus women) recruited from The PRIDE Study in 2018 who reported lifetime APEDS use and completed the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire (EDE-Q) and the Muscle Dysmorphic Disorder Inventory (MDDI). Regression analyses stratified by gender and sexual orientation examined associations of any APEDS use with EDE-Q and MDDI scores. Results: Lifetime APEDS use was common across the four groups of cisgender sexual minority people (44% of gay men, 42% of bisexual plus men, 29% of lesbian women, and 30% of bisexual plus women). Protein supplements and creatine supplements were the most commonly used APEDS. Any APEDS use was associated with higher EDE-Q scores on one or more subscales in all sexual minority groups. Further, any APEDS use was associated with higher MDDI Total Scores in all groups; any APEDS use was associated with all MDDI subscale scores in cisgender gay men only. Discussion: APEDS use is common and associated with eating disorder and muscle dysmorphia symptoms in sexual minority men and women, thus highlighting the importance of assessing for these behaviors and symptoms among these populations in clinical settings.
- Eating disorder
- Sexual and gender minorities