A recent study by the University of Minnesota found that steroid use and muscle supplement use among teenagers is going up. The study, which surveyed 2,700 students in the Minneapolis School District found that 5.9 percent of boys and 4.6 percent of girls had used steroids.
“In some of the more harmful behaviors, like steroid use, we had about 4, 5, 6 percent of young people saying they’re involved in this,” said Marla Eisenberg, a University of Minnesota researcher in an interview with CBS Minnesota. The study showed that steroid use was spread across athletes, non-athletes and teens of all different races. “Asian American youth had higher rates of steroid use in particular”
The survey’s questionnaire asked students about their views on increasing their muscle size and how or if they had tried to achieve a buffer look. Besides steroid use, the survey discovered that 34 percent of boys and 21 percent of girls used protein shakes to build muscle and that teens commonly ate and exercised for the sole purpose of building muscle. Eisenburg readily blamed media stereotypes for the reason teens turn to steroids and supplements for muscle growth. “We’re seeing a lot more athletes, and celebrities, and male models that have bigger and much more tone and buff looking figures. We’re seeing them everywhere.”
Steroid use is both dangerous and unnecessary for teens. It can lead to severe emotional problems, aggravated acne, permanent gynocomastia and even impotence and skeletal development issues. Teenagers are already pumped with testosterone naturally during puberty and it is important for the body to develop its natural way of keeping its anabolic and androgenic balance of testosterone and estrogen. Adding testosterone, or even protein peptides, to a growing body can have severe effects and there are very few doctors who have the knowledge of treating the damage that can be done.
It is unclear why the researchers chose to include protein shakes in their study. Whey protein is just a concentrated form of dairy that delivers high doses of branch chain amino acids that feed the muscles after workouts and encourage them to grow. There is really nothing unnatural about whey protein. The researchers may have only wanted to gauge the attitudes of students on taking supplements that make you stronger – if a student sees protein shakes as a shortcut to a better body, they may eventually see steroids the same way.
If the study of students in an state like Minnesota found rising steroid use, imagine what a study of border states where steroids are easier to find on the black market like California, Arizona, Texas, etc. would find. It is obvious that better education about muscle science is becoming more necessary as teen desires for a buff body type become more pronounced, while at the same time steroids become more available.