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Teens Harming Themselves In Order to Look Better

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A lot of researchers are becoming concerned with the behaviors of teenagers these days. It is believed that teens are putting their health at risk in order to feel good about their bodies. New research shows that a lot of teens are at risk for these unhealthy behaviors as they strive to match the media’s standards. Over-training and steroid use are just two ways that teens try to develop the toned look that they are being told that they need to have in order to be attractive. Researchers have been focusing in on this behavior to help make people aware of the extreme physiological and psychological ways that teens are affected when it comes to their body image.

If you have kids, please share this message with them and help them to develop their self-esteem.  If  your child feels good about himself inside and out, he/she is less-likely to do things that are going to harm themselves.  Not only is steroid use on the table, but teens are also considering starving themselves or using various forms of surgery in order to correct flaws that should be considered part of their natural design as human beings.  Monitor your child’s behavior and converse on these issues regularly, since this form of self-abuse could be happening right under your nose.

“Nearly 2,800 middle school and high school students answered questions about what they did to build muscle size or tone. Exercisewas, far and away, the most common thing boys and girls reported doing.

However, some teens reported a risky behavior: Almost 6% of boys and 4.6% of girls said they had used steroids.

Media images of muscle-bound, “ripped” guys may be giving teen boys unrealistic ideas about how their bodies should look, in the same way ultra-thin fashion models do for teen girls, says researcher Marla Eisenberg, ScD, MPH, of the University of Minnesota.

“If you look back to the ’70s or even the ’80s it was pretty unusual to see a man without a shirt on in an ad or on TV,” she says. “Now they are everywhere and they all emphasize the muscular look.”

Eisenberg recommends that pediatricians and other health professionals ask their teen patients about what they’re doing to build muscle to check if their strategies are healthy or not.

“Of course, exercise is a good thing,” she says. “But when the emphasis shifts away from health and toward getting a particular look or body type, this might point to body image concerns.””

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