CLEVELAND - It's good when a teenager wants to work out and stay in shape, but parents need to pay attention to how they're achieving their goals.
A new study finds more and more teens appear to be turning to muscle-enhancers to get the look they desire.
University of Minnesota researchers looked at more than 2,700 middle school and high school students.
They examined the students' eating and exercise habits, along with use of protein powders and steroids.
It turns out 90 percent of the boys in the study exercised to increase their muscle mass or tone, but more than a third of them used protein powders and shakes, 6 percent reported using steroids, and another 10 percent said they used some other muscle enhancing substance.
Twenty-one percent of the girls in the study admitted to using protein powders or shakes, about 5 percent used steroids, and about 6 percent say they've used some other muscle enhancing substance.
Researchers say sports physicals may be the place for health care providers to discuss the dangers of using these substances with athletes.
Kate Patton did not take part in the study but is a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic.
"Educate them on what the protein sources are in their diet because you do get protein, not just from meat and dairy and animal products and eggs, but you're also getting them from whole grains, starches give you a little bit of protein, vegetables give you a little bit of protein," said Patton.
Complete findings for this study are in the journal “Pediatrics.” To read the study, go to pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/11/14/peds.2012-0095.abstract?sid=df454dc2-c818-480d-98ae-c779ea498fc1 .
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