Teens Using Unhealthy Methods to Build Muscle, Study Shows

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URBANA - Local fitness trainers say they aren't surprised by new research surrounding teens and unhealthy bulking-up tactics.

In the December issue of Pediatrics, a report reveals an increasing number of teens admit to using muscle-enhancing substances, including steroids.

Of 2,800 surveyed Minnesota teens, over a third admit to using protein supplements and nearly five percent of boys admitted to using steroids in the last year.

Personal Trainer Joe Burton, with Kinex Fitness Studio says the teens he's worked with seem to want a "quick fix" in terms of building muscle.

While protein powders and energy-boosting creatin, he says, don't carry the health risks that steroids carry, he says constant usage could still indicate a body image problem.

Of those surveyed, 90 percent of boys say they exercise specifically to boost muscle mass, as opposed to keeping fit. Sixty-four percent of girls say they have worked out to boost muscle. Burton says working out should be to stay healthy, not to have a muscular physique.

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