The great majority of teenagers, both boys and girls, are interesting in bulking up, according to a new study published in Pediatrics. Among more than 2,700 teens studied, 90 percent of boys and 80 percent of girls said they exercise to build muscle.
In many ways, this is good news, since exercise combats childhood obesity and promotes overall well-being. And it’s encouraging to see that teen girls are beginning to view the ideal body type as toned and muscular, rather than stick-thin.
However, the desire to be ripped is pushing many teens to engage in slippery-slope and even dangerous behavior. 34.7 percent of boys report using protein powders or shakes; 5.9 percent said they use steroids; and 10.5 percent use other muscle-enhancing substances. Among girls, 21.2 percent report using protein powders, 4.6 percent said they use steroids, and 5.5 percent ingest other muscle-enhancing substances.
“If they’re interested in developing muscle at 13, 14, and 15, what are they going to be doing at 18 or 20?” the study’s lead researcher Marla Eisenberg, an assistant professor in pediatrics in the division of Adolescent Health and Medicine at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, told MSNBC.
What do you think of this trend among teens to build muscle? Leave a comment.