Results from a recent Canadian study show that “dry picking” is common, especially among teens and young adult men.
A new study published in the journal Eating behaviorsfound that more than one in five teens and young adult men had indulged in “dry spooning,” a new dietary phenomenon described as ingesting pre-workout powders without liquid (i.e., i.e. the whole scoop all at once without mixing with water as intended).
“Dry picking can have serious health effects, including inhalation problems, heart abnormalities, and digestive problems,” says lead author Kyle T. Ganson, PhD, MSW, assistant professor at the School of Factor-Inwentash social work from the University of Toronto,” To date, however, no epidemiological studies have investigated the occurrence of dry picking in young people, leaving important information unknown.
Analyzing data from over 2,700 Canadian teens and young adults from the Canadian Adolescent Health Behavior Study, researchers found that 17% of participants reported having used themselves dry at least once. during the previous year, and on average 50 times during this period. The researchers also found that participants who did strength training and spent more time on social media were more likely to report dry picking.
“Our data shows that new food phenomena that become popular on social media and in gym culture can lead to a higher likelihood of engagement,” Ganson continued. “We need to look at these risk factors as potential areas for prevention and intervention.”
The study also showed that participants who had clinically significant symptoms of muscle dysmorphia, a mental health condition characterized as the pathological continuation of musculature, were also more likely to report dry picking. This discovery underlines the potentially harmful behaviors that one can adopt to achieve his ideal body.
“We need healthcare and mental health care providers to know about these unique dietary practices aimed at increasing performance and muscle, such as dry picking,” says Ganson.
The researchers called for more investigation into this topic, as well as prevention and intervention efforts, such as educating young people about the potential harms and lack of evidence of dry pickup.
Reference: “Prevalence and Correlates of Dry Scooping: Findings from the Canadian Adolescent Health Behavior Study” by Kyle T. Ganson, Laura Hallward, Alexander Testa, Dylan B. Jackson, and Jason M. Nagata, 6 February 20, Eating behaviors.