Skip to comments.Our New National Health Crisis: Teenage Boys Are Exercising
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 didnt 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 theyre not regulated like drugs, so its very hard to know whats 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 havent 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.
That, and also he might be training wrong. Enormous quads, no hamstrings etc.
Bad enough when an adult does unbalanced exercises, but if a 15-yr old were to do them! Still, no doubt he has expert help.
I started lifting at age 14. I’m 43 now.
20” neck. 52” chest. 20” arms. 28” thighs. 22” calves.
1RM on bench was 485. 505 squat. 640 deadlift.
Somewhere out there is a picture of me on a hip-sled with over 1200lbs of weight on it.
My knees are toast and I’ve torn ligaments in both shoulders. I don’t bench over 315 these days.
I’m also sporting about 30lbs of “extra” weight due to being off schedule the last 5-6 years.
Wouldn’t trade it for anything.
More like hangs out 2 hrs and lifts about 15 min. Seen the profile for decades.
Every time you see a stupid story like this, you should understand this:
They have time for it because they NEVER do stories about the homeless, and that is because the Prez is a LIBERAL BLACK.
Rest assured that for the next four years we’ll hear not a peep about THAT.
I'll bet the juice stat is off - too high
Teenage boys in this modern society need to exercise to build muscle - their bodies expect it and were intended for it at that age, so they would start adulthood more fit.
In long-forgotten times, teenage boys WERE more physically active, because life and “life style” REQUIRED it - they worked, in some capacity or another, and the further back in time you go, the deeper into the long-ago establishment of the genetic pattern you go, the work was more physically demanding in one way or another.
Todays society, to the extent it discourages teenage boys NOT to give their bodies muscle building, muscle toning exercise, is asking the boys to (a)ignore what their bodies expect at their age (their metabolism is primed for it) and (b) forgoe good habits that will serve them well in their teens, good habits they will be more inclined to keep - in some fashion - when they are older, if they are a regular part of life already.
Is it necessary to seek to become a “Charles Atlas”? No. And the survey statistics indicate that only a small percentage are trying to do that.
Have you tried the Euro Workout? ;)
I have been doing my own version of the percolating pectorals for years and years (yes, my wife thinks I am juvenile, too bad—it’s her fault for marrying me!).
Feel great but I’m not able to keep the mass on like before.
“For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.”
Now I know some here are going to misunderstand me, but I am no way surprised by this article.
For hundreds of years children were schooled to esteem “worship” character and morality, but with the post-Christian era upon us they are obsessed with physical things instead. Kids today are taught we have two parts - physical and mental - and very little spiritual - if they talk about “spiritual” it is basically being “happy”.
Of course kids are obsessed with their bodies and possessions. What about our current culture leads them to think anything or anyone else might be important?
Nobody has a neck that long.
This habitual training will come in useful later in their lives. One day they will have to chase down and stab their next meal as guns will be illegal and they won’t be able to afford chicken at $1,500/lb.
They should probably start learning to farm too.
Homeless stories were regular features in the MSM under Bush I. They disappeared the day Clinton was elected.
Only way I’m ever going to run again is if someone is chasing me with a chainsaw and I’m out of ammo... ;-)
I heard all the homeless were herded up and sacrificed at the altar of death, by the inner-demonrat party to get obama elected
My 18-year-old lifts weights. He’s a lifeguard in the summer, and he wants to look good for girls. He uses whey protein as a supplement when he’s doing a lot of running, swimming or weightlifting. Yo, food police ... it’s like MILK.
I know your pain. I had to get both shoulders rebuilt when I was 40 yrs old and couldn't lift my arms to shut off the alarm clock. It was more due to my clavicle scraping my humerus joint, but the surgeon commented on "the extremely active life" I've led. In years past, @ 168 lbs, I was matching Nate Newton, the all-pro, 350lb lineman for the Cowboys, rep-for-rep on the lat pull down (probably 375lbs x 5 reps). Yeah, it kind of hurt my spine too.
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