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Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:59 PM

Boys after unattainable body image

It is not just girls these days who are consumed by an unattainable body image.

Take David Abusheikh. At age 15, he started lifting weights for two hours a day, six days a week. Now that he is a senior at Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn, he has been adding protein bars and shakes to his diet to put on muscle without gaining fat.

"I didn't used to be into supplements," said Mr. Abusheikh, 18, who plans on a career in engineering, "but I wanted something that would help me get bigger a little faster."

Pediatricians are starting to sound alarm bells about boys who take unhealthy measures to try to achieve Charles Atlas bodies that only genetics can truly confer. Whether it is long hours in the gym, allowances blown on expensive supplements or even risky experiments with illegal steroids, the price American boys are willing to pay for the perfect body appears to be on the rise.

In a study to be published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics, more than 40 percent of boys in middle school and high school said they regularly exercised with the goal of increasing muscle mass. Thirty-eight percent said they used protein supplements, and nearly 6 percent said they had experimented with steroids.

Overall, 90 percent of the boys in the survey - who lived in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, but typify what doctors say is a national phenomenon - said they exercised at least occasionally to add muscle.

"There has been a striking change in attitudes toward male body image in the last 30 years," said Dr. Harrison Pope, a psychiatry professor at Harvard who studies bodybuilding culture and was not involved in the study. The portrayal of men as fat-free and chiseled "is dramatically more prevalent in society than it was a generation ago," he said.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/muscular-body-image-lures-boys-into-gym-and-obsession-294443

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Reply Boys after unattainable body image (Original post)
Liberal_in_LA Nov 2012 OP
Brickbat Nov 2012 #1
lumberjack_jeff Nov 2012 #2
Sekhmets Daughter Nov 2012 #4
tridim Nov 2012 #5
Drahthaardogs Nov 2012 #8
tridim Nov 2012 #11
Drahthaardogs Nov 2012 #13
argiel1234 Nov 2012 #23
Eyes of the World Nov 2012 #3
quinnox Nov 2012 #6
Drahthaardogs Nov 2012 #9
Blue_Tires Nov 2012 #18
War Horse Nov 2012 #20
Drahthaardogs Nov 2012 #24
seabeyond Nov 2012 #7
Igel Nov 2012 #10
snooper2 Nov 2012 #12
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #14
riderinthestorm Nov 2012 #17
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #19
smirkymonkey Nov 2012 #30
seabeyond Nov 2012 #26
War Horse Nov 2012 #15
FarCenter Nov 2012 #25
bhikkhu Nov 2012 #29
Jamastiene Nov 2012 #16
ibegurpard Nov 2012 #21
MadrasT Nov 2012 #22
Not Me Nov 2012 #27
LiberalArkie Nov 2012 #28

Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:01 PM

1. Does the survey indicate that it's to look a certain way, or is it for performance in athletics?

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:01 PM

2. Fitness isn't a bad thing.

6% use steroids is a problem, though.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:11 PM

4. My son began working out at age 12

He used hi-protein supplements through high school. Today he is 30, works out and runs regularly, doesn't smoke, doesn't do drugs and is a moderate drinker. He's also a tax attorney. Fitness is a good thing...but as you say, the steroids are a problem.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:12 PM

5. Working out 6 days a week is also a problem.

As is loading up on protien powder when whole milk works just as well at about 1/10th the price.

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Response to tridim (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:18 PM

8. Whey powder is dirt cheap.

Egg protein is more expensive, harder to find, but in my opinion, has always been a superior product. It digests slower and is a complete protein. Milk at $4.00/gallon is expensive when you are trying to get 2-3 grams of protein in per day per pound of body weight. Plus drinking a gallon of milk has other consequences. Supplements are a great way for an athlete to get extra nutrition without having to constantly eat. Trust me, when you have to eat 5000 calories a day, it gets a bit cumbersome.

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 04:19 PM

11. I'm drinking 1/2 gallon a day. Zero problems.

But I do enough squats and burn most of it off. I have a real butt and thighs now!

I think milk is underrated, at least if your gut can tolerate it. $3.20 @ Costco.

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Response to tridim (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:08 PM

13. old routine

Squats and milk is a classic bulking routine but do not discard high quality protein supplements

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Response to tridim (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:12 PM

23. I buy only organic milk now

 

all the protein, none of the hormones and stuff to give digestive problems

although im not into it for the muscle

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:08 PM

3. Steroid abuse is more prevalent then Bulimia

 

and other eating disorders.

One might conclude that young males are as affected by self-image issues as young females.

Maybe more.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:12 PM

6. and then years later, these boys will experience all the bad effects of too much steroids

 

on their body. Young and dumb.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:19 PM

9. There are few, if any, lingering effects of steroids.

Most of the hype is just that, hype. There are a few that are best avoided, but contrary to popular belief, nobody ever actually died of steroid use.

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:51 PM

18. Steroid overuse? Hell yeah there are....

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:01 PM

20. There is such a thing as responsible AAS use by *adults*

Even though most who start out that way tend to go overboard if they keep on using.

But AAS use by teens. Any AAS... Just NO! It's asking, no begging, for trouble. Not saying you're condoning it, not at all, but that was what the OP was about, so it might be a good idea to keep that in mind.

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Response to War Horse (Reply #20)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:30 AM

24. I was not replying to the OP, I was replying to the poster who

believes that early steroid use has a proven track record of latent disease. It does not.

Teens should avoid the stuff like the plague, although I do not necessarily agree that it is literally "begging" for trouble. I personally think that if we can legalize marijuana, we should legalize steroids. Unlike marijuana whose benefits are questionable, responsible steroid use by consenting adults under a physician's care could have great improvements in the quality of life of many individuals. Even the UK allows steroid use. I grow so weary of the Bible Belt and their imposed morality.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:15 PM

7. my 17 yr old read this and then said... well, duh. that is an obvious.

then i got to listen to a half hour of so many kids in his class, and sport that do the unhealthy for the purely shallow appearance.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 04:02 PM

10. "Shallow" is trendy.

It's the fashionable thing to be.

Selfish, too.

Had one kid argue that I was going overboard and she had proper compassion for people. She considered herself compassionate because she didn't object to people doing good things for others, as long as they didn't reduce what they were doing for her. She wasn't about to help anybody. She wasn't about to accept a reduction in help. Her wants trumped others needs.

Not an uncommon trait.

Sounds like a slam-dunk conservative position, but I'm talking about an avid Obama fan here.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 04:21 PM

12. rather deal with a problem with kids going overboard with exercise

then the lazy bastards sitting on the couch playing Halo...

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:13 PM

14. Well the DU consensus seems to be that it's OK if boys have unrealistic body image problems

What a fucking surprise.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:46 PM

17. 13 responses (before yours) and that's a "consensus" of DUers?

And in reality, only one of those responses even comes close to being okay with the OP imho...

FWIW, I am NOT okay with it. I think its a crime what we have done to American youth in regards to body image ideals with our marketing.

So please step back a bit before you accuse this community as having some kind of consensus on this with such a small response base.

And add my name to those who firmly believe we have a BIG problem in our country - for both boys and girls.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #17)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:51 PM

19. The one right above mine set me off

And the one promoting the safety of steroids for kids was over the top too.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #17)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:40 PM

30. Hear, hear!

I am im in complete agreement.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:46 AM

26. to be clear, two boys with very different bodies, an awareness how we are fuckin up our kids

In so many ways, in our house it is all about health, balance, self acceptance and appreciation.

No, I do not approve of unhealthy projection of self worth thru the shallow mirror of body.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:38 PM

15. Charles Atlas is hardly an "unattainable body image"

What a weird thing to include in an article. That's a pretty healthy, old school look for kids to try to obtain. Nothing wrong with lifting weights, trying to get bigger and stronger and using supps. The problem is that kids think supps are a replacement for real food, and at the same time freaking out if they don't have an 8-pack on their skinny frames while barely subsisting on a 1000 kcal diet as they try to build muscle while simultaneously running twice per day. That's where the body image madness comes in.

The six percent who have used steroids is a very, very real concern. I see too damned much of it. Using 'protein supplements' and 'steroids' in the same sentence does nothing to address that problem, though. Quite the contrary, sadly.

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Response to War Horse (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:42 AM

25. This is not new; Charles Atlas ads were in '50s comic books; he died in '72

Tarzan was also presenting an unattainable ability to swing through the tree tops. Don't attempt this from your garage roof.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Atlas

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Response to War Horse (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:29 AM

29. That's the main stupidity of the article

Charles Atlas wasn't even all that buff, by bodybuilder standards, and his physique would be classed as "mesomorphic", and natural to about a third of males.

Of course steroids are terrible for anybody, and way too easily attainable and abused. The problem is that, while the goal for anyone should be mental and physical health, it is bent towards simply the appearance of health.

Having had several friends who used steroids to "bulk up", I believe that the old saw about how "muscle turns to fat" once you stop training may come from that, indirectly. Steroids, one way or another, wreck your metabolism in the long-term and lead to eating and weight problems. Desire to be and look fit and healthy shouldn't be made out as the big problem, but like anything else you have to self-educate and plan on spending the time. I don't think this generation of kids gets enough support in that area.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:44 PM

16. I don't think boys should have to go through those types of bad self image problems either.

Girls have to go through this and now boys are going through it too. It's a sad day when kids can't just grow up free from these unattainable body image issues. I wish there was a way to teach them to work out and exercise a healthy, moderate amount and accept those results and not try to become a real life version of a Photoshopped picture on a magazine.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:07 PM

21. excercise and fitness is great!

but I would put my foot down on "supplements."

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:11 PM

22. That is scary and makes me feel sad.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:18 AM

27. Once again, parents need to be involved in their kids' lives.

Physical activity, whether it be putting a ball through a hoop, running on a trail, or lifting weights can all be good for kids. Infinitely more so than sitting in front of a computer screen hour after hour. It should be supported.

The article (to me) points out a problem that I see with parents that may or may not even be aware of their son's activities.
Open up, have a discussion. One of the best things you can do for him (or her) is to get him a good trainer for a couple months to ensure that they know what they are doing, and not inviting injury.

Related, A couple weeks ago I was at the gym and saw a guy perhaps 40 years old, with his Down's syndrome son...spending time with him, showing him how to properly lift. It was a thing of beauty.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:43 AM

28. I am 64 and take my steroids every 2 weeks. I wondered all my life why I could not gain

muscles no matter how much exercising I did. I did not find out until I was 60 that my testosterone level was 90. It should have been at my age more than 400. My doc figured it was always too low. Some of the guys at work were real skinny and worked out and never gained muscles, I told them to have their T level checked and low and behold they were real low also.

It is hard to develop muscles and have a healthy heart without testosterone.

I was reading where it is a real trend for guys to have a real low level these days. Something in the food ? who knows.

Some guys can't gain weight or muscles without the proper T level some can not keep the weight off without the correct level.

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