The known difference in the severity of dystrophy between the masseter and the digastric muscle of the mouse (dy/dy C57BL/J6) may be attributed to the differences in muscle work load. This possibility was tested by subjecting 3-week-old mice (normal and dystrophic) to a soft diet for 4 weeks. Microscopic examination of haematoxylin-eosin stained sections of these muscles showed that the fibre size dispersion (a measure of disease severity) decreased slightly but significantly in the masseters of mice on a soft diet. It was thus possible to improve the condition of dystrophic masticatory muscles by changing their function. Body weight curves measured during the experimental period suggest that the dystrophic mice may have been under weight because of malnutrition due to lack of sufficient masticatory power.