Education Report Roundup

Bulking Up

By Vaishali Honawar — August 09, 2005 1 min read

Adolescents who are deeply concerned about their body image are more likely to use potentially unhealthy products such as steroids and growth hormones to enhance their physiques, a study warns.

“Exposure to the Mass Media, Body Shape Concerns, and Use of Supplements to Improve Weight and Shape Among Male and Female Adolescents” is available from Pediatrics.

Of the more than 10,000 12- to 18-year-olds studied as part of Harvard Medical School’s ongoing Growing Up Today survey, only 47 percent of boys and 36 percent of girls reported they were satisfied with their bodies.

The study, published in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics, found that some 30 percent of boys and 33 percent of girls wanted more toned and defined muscles.

One in 10 boys and one in 12 girls studied said they used products containing hormones or supplements like protein powders and shakes to improve their appearance.

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A version of this article appeared in the August 10, 2005 edition of Education Week