Dry Scooping: A Risky Dietary Practice Popular Among Boys and Young Men

Scooping Protein Powder Supplement

A study based on the data collected from over 2,700 Canadian adolescents and young adults shows that dry scooping, a risky dietary practice, is more common among those who weight train and spend more time on social media. Around 17% of the participants in the study reported engaging in dry scooping at least once in the previous year, with an average frequency of 50 times. Dry scooping was more frequently reported by participants who showed clinically significant symptoms of muscle dysmorphia, which is a mental health condition characterized by the pathological pursuit of muscularity.

Findings from a recent Canadian study show that “dry scooping” is common, particularly among adolescent boys and young adult men.

A new study, published in the journal Eating Behaviors, has found that over 1 in 5 adolescent boys and young adult men have engaged in “dry scooping,” a novel dietary phenomenon described as ingesting pre-workout powders without a liquid (i.e., the entire scoop in one shot without mixing with water as intended).

“Dry scooping can have serious health effects, including issues with inhalation, cardiac abnormalities, and digestive issues,” says lead author Kyle T. Ganson, PhD, MSW, assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, “To date, however, there have been no epidemiological studies investigating the occurrence of dry scooping among young people, leaving significant information unknown.” 

Analyzing data from over 2,700 Canadian adolescents and young adults from the Canadian Study of Adolescent Health Behaviors, the researchers found that 17% of participants reported dry scooping at least one time in the previous year, and an average of 50 times over that time period. The researchers also found that participants who engaged in weight training and spent greater time on social media were more likely to report dry scooping.

“Our data shows that novel dietary phenomena that become popularized on social media and within gym culture can lead to a greater likelihood of engagement,” Ganson continued. “We need to be thinking of these risk factors as potential areas of prevention and intervention.”

The study also showed that participants who displayed clinically significant symptoms of muscle dysmorphia, a mental health condition characterized as the pathological pursuit of muscularity, were also more likely to report dry scooping. This finding underscores the potentially harmful behaviors one may engage in to achieve one’s body ideal.

“We need health care and mental health care providers to be knowledgeable of these unique dietary practices aimed at increasing performance and musculature, such as dry scooping,” says Ganson.

The researchers called for more investigation on this topic, as well as prevention and intervention efforts, such as educating young people on the potential harms and lack of evidence of dry scooping.

Reference: “Prevalence and correlates of dry scooping: Results from the Canadian Study of Adolescent Health Behaviors” by Kyle T. Ganson, Laura Hallward, Alexander Testa, Dylan B. Jackson and Jason M. Nagata, 6 February 20, Eating Behaviors.
DOI: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2023.101705

7 Comments on "Dry Scooping: A Risky Dietary Practice Popular Among Boys and Young Men"

  1. Nathaniel Talcott | February 23, 2023 at 4:31 am | Reply

    This is not something that is true. If you put any question on a survey a certain number of children will lie. You would get a similar result of you asked the same students how many of them had eaten tide pods

  2. Dry scooping is also dangerous because it can form indigestible masses called gastric bezoars, which will have to be surgically removed.

    Also … don’t listen to Nathaniel Talcott, social media has made it far too easy to make trends out of dangerous behaviors. Teens and young adults are the prime targets because they are often more susceptible to peer pressures.

    • So you’re saying the dry powder has indigestible material of persimmon fruit and hair???

      Why not reply directly to that other person you say we shouldn’t listen to, just to prove you’re serious. Also, try saying something only when you know what you’re talking about.

      Here is the real description of the term you are playing with like you know everything.

      Bezoars are classified according to their composition.
      Phytobezoars – Phytobezoars, composed of vegetable matter, are the most common type of bezoar. The diospyrobezoar, composed of persimmon fruit, accounts for the majority of cases.
      Trichobezoars – Trichobezoars are composed of hair.

  3. Scoopology Doctorate | February 23, 2023 at 2:44 pm | Reply

    This article is vaguely meaningless to anyone who doesn’t watch bodybuilding videos on Tick Tock. Explain what “pre-workout powders” are, and why something dry versus wet could cause “inhalation, cardiac abnormalities, and digestive issues”. Powders can be inhaled, which can usually be dangerous depending on what the powder is, and maybe a fibrous powder could absorb too much water in the gut and cause a blockage, but cardiac abnormalities? Are these powders are amphetamines or blood thinners? If so, that’s a really big scoop in the stock photo.

    I agree with Nathaniel; most likely, kids thought the phrase was funny and said that yes they do. Are you a dry scooper? Or do you scoop wetly? Maybe you would prefer a more semisolid luxuriously thick and muddy scooping.

  4. Nathaniel’s logic would disprove all surveys as false. He’s whack.

  5. My teen son dry scoops. While I thought it was weird, I didn’t realize it could be dangerous.

  6. You wrote all that just to say nothing. Where’s the information on the dangers?

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