T Nation

Alarming Supplement Story

Web site:

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20050801/D8BMQ0M03.html

Story:

For Toned Look, Some Teens Use Supplements

Aug 1, 12:08 AM (ET)

By LINDSEY TANNER

CHICAGO (AP) - Getting a sculpted look is a goal for many U.S. teens - and while some are using dangerous supplements to get it, sizable numbers of girls and boys are engaging in more healthy strength-training, a survey found.

Eight percent of girls and 12 percent of boys surveyed said they used supplements in striving to become more buff. Protein shakes and powders were the most commonly used, but teens also listed steroids, growth hormone, amino acids and other potentially unhealthful products among those they’d tried in the previous year.

With obesity on the rise, it’s encouraging on the one hand that many teens try to look fit, said lead author Alison Fields, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. But there’s “a fine line” between fighting obesity and using potentially unhealthy methods to achieve potentially unrealistic goals, she said.

“Our results would suggest that some of these kids have gone right past healthy to something unhealthy,” Field said.

The report appears in the August edition of Pediatrics, being issued Monday. It was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and cereal-maker Kellogg Co. (K)

Field said the large numbers of youngsters thinking about getting toned or actively trying to achieve the look suggests at least some likely have unrealistic expectations about how their bodies can or should look.

Dr. Eric Small, chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ sports medicine and fitness committee, said he suspects supplement use was underreported, since other studies have suggested that teens’ use of steroids alone is more prevalent.

Small helped write an academy policy statement published in April that says performance-enhancing supplements are unproven and under-regulated and should not be used by children or teens. He was not involved in the survey.

“Everyone wants a quick fix” but lifestyle changes are generally more effective, Small said, adding that teens should seek healthy lifestyles rather than trying to emulate a certain look.

“Working out is definitely a good thing but you have to work out for the right reasons,” Small said.

The study was based on a 1999 survey conducted by Field and colleagues of 10,449 12- to 18-year-olds whose mothers were participating in a Harvard-affiliated study of nurses’ health.

Roughly 30 percent each of boys and girls said they frequently thought about wanting more defined muscles. Forty-four percent of girls and 62 percent of boys said they’d participated in strength training. That activity wasn’t defined but it likely included weightlifting, pilates and yoga, Field said.

Boys who read men’s, fashion or fitness magazines and girls who said they wanted to look like famous women were more likely than other youngsters surveyed to use supplements to enhance their physique. However, the researchers said they were unable to determine if youngsters who were already fitness-conscious were more drawn to fitness-oriented media, or whether it was exposure to media that prompted their fitness-seeking behavior.

About 15 percent of the girls and 23 percent of the boys were chubby or seriously overweight. About three-fourths of the youngsters participated in team sports, and most were white and from at least middle-class families.


On the Net:

American Academy of Pediatrics: http://www.aap.org

“…amino acids and other potentially unhealthful products…”

I was expecting a whopper of a story, but somehow this seemed extremely unalarming.

“…amino acids and other potentially unhealthful products…”

No one ever accused the medical profession of knowing what it is talking about.

The writer needs to focus the attention back where it belongs: on the fact that the favorite “foods” of most of these kids are soda and chips. The ones who are actually training and trying to take in good food and healthy supplements should be encouraged.

Dumbasses. What a joker of a doctor. I have yet to see any teenager that has a ‘steroid-sculpted’ physique outside of couple football players.

[quote]dahun2 wrote:
but teens also listed steroids, growth hormone, amino acids and other potentially unhealthful products among those they’d tried in the previous year.[/quote]

What teenager can afford growth hormone on an allowance or after school job? They are using common supplements to create a scare. The crap at GNC that says “growth hormone” on the box…isn’t.

Here’s more on the latest:

Adolescents bulk up their bodies

By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY

[i]In the largest study to date on adolescents’ views of their bodies and their use of hormones and supplements, one in eight boys and one in 12 girls reported using such products in the past year to improve their appearance, muscle mass or strength.

Based on a nationwide survey of more than 10,000 adolescents, the study, out Monday in the journal Pediatrics, shows a high rate of concern about body image in both boys and girls and finds that teens who worry about body image are much more likely to use hormones and dietary supplements to try to enhance their physiques.

Almost 5% of teenage boys and 2% of girls use potentially unhealthy products ranging from protein powders to growth hormone and injectable steroids at least weekly to improve appearance or strength.

“The take-home message here is that we really need to think about body-image dissatisfaction in boys as well as girls,” says Alison Field, a Harvard Medical School professor of pediatrics and lead researcher on the study. “Both are influenced by the images they see in the media, which can be unrealistically thin for girls and unrealistically muscular for boys.”

The research was conducted using data from Harvard’s ongoing study titled Growing Up Today. It includes 6,212 girls and 4,237 boys ages 12 to 18.

Teens who told researchers they “frequently” thought about wanting more defined muscles and made a lot of effort to look like figures in the media were more than three times as likely as peers to use products to build muscle or improve their appearance.

The most commonly used products were protein powders and shakes. Others, used mostly by boys, included creatine, amino acids, the amino-acid metabolite HMB, the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), growth hormone and anabolic steroids.

Protein powders are probably relatively safe, but steroids have known health effects, and much less is known about creatine and growth hormones, particularly in young people, Field says.

“You really don’t want them using anything unless you know it’s safe,” she says.

As Americans overall become fatter and further away from the thin, toned body that society considers ideal, teens increasingly are turning to extreme behaviors to achieve what often is unachievable, says Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota and author of I’m, Like, So Fat! Helping Your Teen Make Healthy Choices About Eating and Exercise in a Weight-Obsessed World.

For example, images of male models in advertisements are often shaded to make their bodies look as if they have more muscle definition, Field says. “Parents have to help teens understand that they’re comparing themselves to an image that isn’t real.”[/i]

Taken from:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2005-07-31-teens-bodies_x.htm


Some “great” points made here:

  • the study […] finds that teens who worry about body image are much more likely to use hormones and dietary supplements to try to enhance their physiques.

No, really? Gee, I wish I hadn’t skipped Obvious Psicology 101 at college. I wonder if the study also finds that these teens receive no education on healthy nutrition (either at home or at school), and that they probably have bad food choices available in their cafeterias (Supersize Me comes to mind) such that the only way they see to improve their bodies is through supplements.

  • “The take-home message here is that we really need to think about body-image dissatisfaction in boys as well as girls,”

Congratulations Prof. Field, for a deep, insightful comment. No, wait, there’s something not quite right here…aha! “Body-image”! I don’t think the kids are dissatisfied with their body image, I think they’re dissatisfied with their bodies! Bear with me, there is a difference. I’ll rant about that in a bit.

  • “Both are influenced by the images they see in the media, which can be unrealistically thin for girls and unrealistically muscular for boys.”

I can’t talk for the girls, but as far as boys are concerned, I have yet to see any unrealistically muscular image in the media, apart from pro bodybuilders. And it’s not like you see many of those on TV. I have yet to see a movie star with a body I could not attain if I had the time, money and dedication to persue it. No, sod that; I’m working on my body as we speak, and will continue to do so continually, and eventually I’ll get the body I want. It’s not instantaneous, and it’s not easy, but nothing worth having is. As all the FFBs on this site can attest, you can achieve your ideal pody if you really want it.

  • Protein powders are probably relatively safe

“Probably”? “Relatively”!? Are they serious? Is yogurt also probably relatively safe?

  • …steroids have known health effects, and much less is known about creatine and growth hormones, particularly in young people.

Great! Creatine and growth hormone thrown into the same sack. Of course! They’re practically the same thing, right? And you bet steroids have known health effects, it’s why they’ve been administered to AIDS and cancer patients for decades. They’ll also make you big and strong if a) you’ve finished your growth process, and b) you train your arse off.

  • …teens increasingly are turning to extreme behaviors to achieve what often is unachievable.

Bullshit unachievable! See further up and further down.

  • Field says. “Parents have to help teens understand that they’re comparing themselves to an image that isn’t real.”

Oh no, I’m not letting this one go. Here’s the rant I promised to continue (dedicated to you, Prof. Field):

These last sentences I’ve extracted showcase the general bland, useless, P.C. attitude that’s permeating American society (and getting passed along to th rest of the world, I may add). In this case, it works something like this:

Our kids are fat, they feel bad about it because there are a minority of people that aren’t. By some huge coincidence these thin, muscular, attractive people are very successful and appear on the TV and magazines. Instead of looking for the root of the problem, i.e. why are our kids fat, we will tell them that it’s OK to be fat, that they shouldn’t feel bad about it, that normal people are fat, and that those thin people on the TV and magazines aren’t real anyway, it’s all airbrushing and CGI.

This is a defeatist attitude that has created a generation of “horizontally challenged” children, with no work ethic, or sense of the value of things.

PS: Says one lemming to another, as they’re falling of a cliff towards the sea:

  • Why did we jump? Aren’t we going to die?
  • Oh don’t worry, it’ll be OK; everyone’s doing it!

…where can I find me those “amino-acids”? Do I have to inject them? Are those websites selling them for real? Are mexican amino-acids safe?..

…god, people are so stupid… there is no hope… none…

… if there is an intelligent designer out there he should have designed homo-sapiens with a brain…

Ive given up as well. America has been dumbed-down to retardation status. Theres simply no hope.

sigh

Amir

P.S Ill go shoot my protein shots now…hope they kill me soon…

[quote]orion wrote:
…where can I find me those “amino-acids”? Do I have to inject them? Are those websites selling them for real? Are mexican amino-acids safe?..

…god, people are so stupid… there is no hope… none…

… if there is an intelligent designer out there he should have designed homo-sapiens with a brain…[/quote]

lol this is funny. I’m 15, turning 16 in October, but it’s true that teens my age go crazy over supplements. God i even remember one day when guys were briging the supplements they bought from GNC and all…liquid creatine and all. I donno i think it was retarded because most of them are 1) not dedicated what soever 2) eat like shit 3)get drunk every weekend, or high…sometimes both…most smoke up a lot though. 4) are pussies.

They think these supplements are going to get them nice big and strong. Oh did I tell you most use machines too. One guy even told me that he can’t “handle” free-weights because his muscles aren’t for it. I was like…WTF are you talking about!?. Kinda funny, more sad. Because you need to have good nutrional habits, get good sleep, have a hard work ethic in order to get some results. And this site is great for training and nutrition information.

dl-

I had an interesting discussion with a girl my roomate is seeing (she happens to be a pre-med student). i was mixing a protein shake, and she started this tirade about how the shake was going to kill me, etc, etc, ad nauseam. when i asked for an explaination, she said that, since it contains creatine, it would make my liver explode.

i pointed out: a)bullshit, b)the aforementioned shake does not contain creatine (which, for the record, does not make your liver explode), and c) bullshit. after a few more feeble attempts to explain how this toxic cocktail of whey, water, and artificial flavor would make me keel over and die, she finally settled on the “it’s not natural angle.” i just kind of shook my head and thought to myself, Jesus Christ, this girls going to be a doctor someday. God help us.

[quote]jsbrook wrote:
Dumbasses. What a joker of a doctor. I have yet to see any teenager that has a ‘steroid-sculpted’ physique outside of couple football players.[/quote]

Exactly. Where are these “steroid-sculpted” teens? Where? They are as easy to find as fat people in Europe. I’m in CA, one would think Arnold be dealing some gear on the side and Sacramento (CA?s Capital) would be full of 300 lbs buff monsters walking around. There are plenty 300 pounders around, though they are all lard. Could it be that Governator is pushing fake gear? Nah, I?m just kidding, just kidding. Arnold is the man.

-Yustas

[quote]redfreddy wrote:
I had an interesting discussion with a girl my roomate is seeing (she happens to be a pre-med student). i was mixing a protein shake, and she started this tirade about how the shake was going to kill me, etc, etc, ad nauseam. when i asked for an explaination, she said that, since it contains creatine, it would make my liver explode.
[/quote]

Who the crap told her this? If it was a professor, they ought to be fired and tenure revoked. If she’s picking up info from popular sources and taking them as fact on her road to being a doctor, she deserves to fail miserably.

-Dan

I give up.

Last night, I had a 3 hour long conversation with my mother about supplements. She stands steadfastly against anyone being able to by any type of supplement. Why can’t achieve my goals with food? It’s unnatural to put chemicals into the body. And everything is a chemical.

Her argument boiled down thusly: if it has the potential to cause harm when used against the recommendations of the product, it should not be legal. At all. For anyone.

. . . It is impossible to argue with this. The effort is completely, totally in vain.

All I can do is figure out what supplements work for me, and try to stock up on them before whatever bans hit the books.

This is disgusting.

continues printing letters to Senators, Representatives, Governor, and President

[quote]redfreddy wrote:
I had an interesting discussion with a girl my roomate is seeing (she happens to be a pre-med student). i was mixing a protein shake, and she started this tirade about how the shake was going to kill me, etc, etc, ad nauseam. when i asked for an explaination, she said that, since it contains creatine, it would make my liver explode.

i pointed out: a)bullshit, b)the aforementioned shake does not contain creatine (which, for the record, does not make your liver explode), and c) bullshit. after a few more feeble attempts to explain how this toxic cocktail of whey, water, and artificial flavor would make me keel over and die, she finally settled on the “it’s not natural angle.” i just kind of shook my head and thought to myself, Jesus Christ, this girls going to be a doctor someday. God help us.[/quote]

Heh. As I said in another thread MDs are idiots (in many ways). Sad but in many cases one would get better health advise from some of the more knowledgable staff on this or other forums.

I just had a discussion with a girl that said ‘Whey proteins do not build muscle’. So being the good student I am I referenced an article on pubmed that showed that weight training followed by a good protein shake(whey) builds muscle. Her reply to that was that ‘That is what I learnt in nutrition class’. She is a frigging university student studying nutrition!
What the fuck is that? Then she told me how a multivitamin supplement is toxic.
I gave up. I just hope she doesnt become a personal trainer.

[quote]Aravind wrote:
I just had a discussion with a girl that said ‘Whey proteins do not build muscle’. So being the good student I am I referenced an article on pubmed that showed that weight training followed by a good protein shake(whey) builds muscle. Her reply to that was that ‘That is what I learnt in nutrition class’. She is a frigging university student studying nutrition!
What the fuck is that? Then she told me how a multivitamin supplement is toxic.
I gave up. I just hope she doesnt become a personal trainer.

[/quote]

What school does she go to? Did she say why her professors told her that? (I’m interested because I’m a nutrition major about to take some “actual” classes in my department this semester. I keep wondering how much of what I will learn at school will conflict with what I’ve learned from this site.)

I think the point to all of these articles is they are increasing alarmingly, which you know that the typical reaction is going to be knee-jerk.

Seeing how T-Nation has its hands in the supplement business, which equats to a lot at stake, maybe they can start an area where there are important contacts/letter examples we can all start sending off. An area with some links, important people to write too, letter examples, places to post return mails, etc. would be nice.

If we wait until the axe falls, it will be next to impossible to reverse and the result will be us paying some drug company $100 for a tin of protein powder.

Some might say we should each individually get off our butts and write, and I have, but I see posts here all the time from people asking for advise on diets and lifting who have obviously spent zero time to research; they want to be spoon-fed. They need something that is click and send.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are in a war and if you like your gear with all that hard work you put in, we have to start. Its sad but true. We have a lot to gain but a huge amount to loose!

[quote]Angelbutt wrote:
Aravind wrote:
I just had a discussion with a girl that said ‘Whey proteins do not build muscle’. So being the good student I am I referenced an article on pubmed that showed that weight training followed by a good protein shake(whey) builds muscle. Her reply to that was that ‘That is what I learnt in nutrition class’. She is a frigging university student studying nutrition!
What the fuck is that? Then she told me how a multivitamin supplement is toxic.
I gave up. I just hope she doesnt become a personal trainer.

What school does she go to? Did she say why her professors told her that? (I’m interested because I’m a nutrition major about to take some “actual” classes in my department this semester. I keep wondering how much of what I will learn at school will conflict with what I’ve learned from this site.)
[/quote]

Hey,

This is UofT, Toronto, Canada. I doubt that the text wouldve said that. She mustve misinterpreted what she read or just read it wrong. I talked to some other nutrition science majors and posed the same question and got better answers.