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Our New National Health Crisis: Teenage Boys Are Exercising
Reason.com ^ | November 19, 2012 | Peter Suderman

Posted on 11/20/2012 10:36:15 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

After all these years of media scare stories trying to terrify readers with worries about how kids are too sedentary and don't eat well, I suppose it's comforting to find a scare story about how teen boys are obsessed gym rats who consume lots of protein and very little fat. The New York Times delivers the goods:

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 onlygenetics 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.

Here's the new data to justify the article:

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.

Over all, 90 percent of the 1,307 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.

Yes, the same paper that recently warned that overweight teens who don't exercise were at increased risk of diabetes and likened teen obesity to smoking, and which in 2009 published a lengthy piece on how

teen obesity led to early death (sample expert quote: "We know that health behaviors are established early on in life.") is now concerned that large numbers of teenage boys are exercising, and experimenting with diets that will help them build muscle.

Why exactly should we be so worried?

“The problem with supplements is they’re not regulated like drugs, so it’s very hard to know what’s in them,” said Dr. Shalender Bhasin, a professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. Some contain anabolic steroids, and even high-quality protein supplements might be dangerous in large amounts, or if taken to replace meals, he said. “These things just haven’t been studied very well,” he said.

So the problem with supplements and other muscle-boosters is that the government has left them alone and worried nannies have not yet determined if there are problems with them?

No public health scare story would be complete without someone to blame. The New York Times points to television shows like Jersey Shore and Girls, which apparently feature muscled men who inspire admirers to spend time in the gym hoping to achieve a similar look. But The New Republic's Alec MacGillis has

a different villain in mind: buff Beltway politicians like Paul Ryan:

Before we lay all the blame on The Situation, it's worth noting that the muscle-head mindset has infected a more rarefied realm of American life as well: Beltway Washington.

There is, for instance, the 2012 Republican nominee for vice president, who is famous for leading sessions of the rigorous P90X workout regimen on Capitol Hill, who posed as your standard frathouse gym rat before the election and who prompted nine times more Googling of "Paul Ryan Shirtless" than "Paul Ryan Budget." And yes, he is pumping up musclehead business with the broader public.

Truly these are dark days when America's youth look to politicians for exercise tips.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Food; Health/Medicine; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: proteinshakes; pumpingiron; supplements; teens
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To: Wuli
"In long-forgotten times, teenage boys WERE more physically active, because life and “life style” REQUIRED it - they worked"

Indeed, and some still do. This reporter needs to visit a farm and see what it's like for a 12 year old boy to work 12 hours a day up in a 100 degree barn throwing and stacking hay bails. I think I bailed hay every summer from when I was 9 to 20 years old. No gloves, no shirt, no long pants. $2/hr. Glad to get it.

21 posted on 11/20/2012 12:23:20 PM PST by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: Dead Corpse

I started weight training about 1988. Within a few months I blew a Mitral valve and ended up having a mechanical replacement in 1990.

No more weights for me! Walking is my thing, but not to excess!


22 posted on 11/20/2012 12:23:36 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (The parasites now outnumber the producers.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Save your sanity. Ignore all advice from the government.


23 posted on 11/20/2012 12:42:06 PM PST by TigersEye (Who is John Galt?)
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To: uncommonsense
I was doing bent over rows at 360. Down at 225 now. Working back into it.

Trying to get my joints back up to par, I've been doing 3 days light weight/high rep and 3 on cardio. No supplementation, although I've upped my water intake a bit to help keep the system flushed.

I hate to admit this, but I've been thinking of getting in to crossfit. Most lifters frown on it as it leans you out a lot and the granola-munchers have kind of infiltrated it. But, that's kinda what I'm looking for now. Leaner, less bulky.

Getting too old to be carrying this much weight, even in muscle much less fat.

24 posted on 11/20/2012 12:58:17 PM PST by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: Salvey

True. You have to give your muscles some rest time to rebuild.


25 posted on 11/20/2012 1:01:33 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Obama should change his campaign slogan to "Yes, we am!" Sounds as stupid as his administration is.)
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To: Dead Corpse

Does your husband lift too?


26 posted on 11/20/2012 1:06:14 PM PST by wtc911 (Amigo - you've been had.)
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To: Tax-chick

It’s not “like” milk... It IS milk. Just the protein and concentrated.

Alternate meat and whey proteins. Guys should stay away from soy proteins as they contain veggie estrogen. Doesn’t work QUITE the same way animal estrogen does, but why risk it? ;-)

http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/soys-negative-effects

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/core_march_9.htm


27 posted on 11/20/2012 1:06:56 PM PST by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: wtc911

A sphincter says what?


28 posted on 11/20/2012 1:10:29 PM PST by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: Eric Blair 2084; SheLion; Gabz; Hank Kerchief; 383rr; libertarian27; traviskicks; bamahead; CSM; ...

Future nanny state mandate: Thou shalt only be as pumped up as the skinniest dweeb!

Nanny State PING!


29 posted on 11/20/2012 1:11:19 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Obama should change his campaign slogan to "Yes, we am!" Sounds as stupid as his administration is.)
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To: Eric Blair 2084; SheLion; Gabz; Hank Kerchief; 383rr; libertarian27; traviskicks; bamahead; CSM; ...

Future nanny state mandate: Thou shalt only be as pumped up as the skinniest dweeb!

Nanny State PING!


30 posted on 11/20/2012 1:11:53 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Obama should change his campaign slogan to "Yes, we am!" Sounds as stupid as his administration is.)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar; Wuli

I heard Michael Savage say once that light exercise is the key to good health and long life. The stories here about the damage done and repaired needed due to excessive weightlifting are testament to that, I think.

We certainly can’t look to our genetic background to suggest we should be doing anything to our bodies that requires surgery that wasn’t available in the past. Also, the extent to which a modern exercise routine at a gym mimics what primitive man would do in the wild is questionable. There would’ve been more varied movement and physical activity on a hunt or on a farm, not being locked in position on a machine.

And, of course, ingesting any kind of supplements, especially unnatural ones, could easily have unpredictable and deleterious effects on one’s health. Not to mention doing that is TOTALLY unnecessary if your goal is to improve your health.

Physical health is a worthy goal. Men becoming obsessed with their physical body image the way that a young woman suffering from anorexia or bulimia does is not. Human history tells us how harmful and destructive vanity is to the human spirit.


31 posted on 11/20/2012 1:27:09 PM PST by JediJones (Newt Gingrich warned us that the "King of Bain" was unelectable. Did you listen?)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

The real fear is that these kids are releasing teststerone into the world. This is something leftists cannot abide. They like their men sissified and their women bullish and angry.


32 posted on 11/20/2012 1:42:30 PM PST by vpintheak (Occupy your Brain!)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Nobody has a neck that long.

You. Owe. Me. A. New. Keyboard.

33 posted on 11/20/2012 2:03:21 PM PST by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: vpintheak
They like their men sissified and their women bullish and angry . . .

. . . and ugly.

34 posted on 11/20/2012 2:09:59 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Obama should change his campaign slogan to "Yes, we am!" Sounds as stupid as his administration is.)
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To: Dead Corpse

You hardly sound like a dead corpse.


35 posted on 11/20/2012 2:24:59 PM PST by hattend (Firearms and ammunition...the only growing industries under the Obama regime.)
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To: JediJones
"I heard Michael Savage say once that light exercise is the key to good health and long life. The stories here about the damage done and repaired needed due to excessive weightlifting are testament to that"

I concur, based on experience. What is possible may not be what is best.

36 posted on 11/20/2012 2:38:00 PM PST by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: uncommonsense

Or as I always point out, the first documented marathoner, dropped dead right after finishing it.


37 posted on 11/20/2012 2:40:22 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: Dead Corpse

I knew the soy was a bad idea. He eats plenty of meat, I think, but he likes the extra protein from the milkshake, especially when he’s running and doing weights.

It funny that “they” would be concerned about a boy’s spending two hours a day in the gym, but not about his spending two hours a day playing video games or eight hours a day sitting in classrooms not paying attention.


38 posted on 11/20/2012 4:21:18 PM PST by Tax-chick (Are you getting ready for the Advent Kitteh?)
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To: Tax-chick

I saw earlier where LA County lifeguards can make $150,000/yr, but assume it entails joining a union (and certainly entails living in a morally dead zone).


39 posted on 11/20/2012 4:28:05 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not NurtureĀ™)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Nobody has a neck that long.

_________________________

Like a giraffe!


40 posted on 11/20/2012 4:33:53 PM PST by Chickensoup (Leftist Totalitarian Fascism coming to a country like yours.)
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