Call for Papers | “The Dark Side of Performance Enhancement, Sport and Lifestyle” | Special issue of Performance Enhancement & Health. Call ends March 1, 2018

Each year people spend billions of dollars to get in shape, improve their appearance and to maintain or restore a healthy lifestyle – from training gear and wearable technologies to nutrition plans, cosmetic surgery and even enhancement drugs. While many of these activities and habits can be viewed as fundamentally positive in their pursuit of good physical and mental health (e.g. dieting to lose weight), there are also various forms of harmful activities that are ‘side-lined’, over-looked and/or ignored. This includes, for example, excessive exercise, problematic eating behaviour, the abuse of enhancement drugs for lifestyle purposes, or the use of alcohol or other drugs by athletes in order to cope with the growing pressure to perform. For this special issue we are interested in the fine line dividing a healthy lifestyle and an unhealthy obsession with improving the human condition – the ‘dark side’ of performance enhancement, sport and lifestyle.

Potential topics include:

  • Contributions which consider the link between eating disorders, excessive exercise and body image;
  • Papers focused on the use of traditional drugs (including alcohol) within sport/fitness settings;
  • Papers which consider the relationship between lifestyle, wellbeing and the use of human enhancement drugs (cognitive enhancers, PIEDs, sexual enhancers, etc.);
  • Studies which focus on the ‘hidden dangers’ of cosmetic surgery; and
  • Contributions that explore the unintended consequences of digital technology (e.g. wearables and fitness/exercise applications) used for lifestyle purposes.

Submissions of any of the above topics and related issues are welcome. Please feel free to contact the Associate Editor Dr Katinka van de Ven ( in advance for advice on potential suitability of any proposed manuscript.

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