Muscle-Building Teens

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Story Updated: Nov 20, 2012

Wanting to look "ripped" or "buff" is no longer something just adults strive for.

A new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, says teenagers are going to extremes, too.

Researchers surveyed nearly 28-hundred students at 20 different middle and high schools... They asked about 5 muscle-enhancing behaviors including diet modification, exercise habits, use of protein powders, steroids and other substances.

Among boys, more than 90% reported exercising more to build muscle. Two-thirds changed their eating habits. Nearly 35% used protein powders or shakes and about 6 percent said they used steroids.

A large majority of girls admitted to changing both exercise and eating habits to tone up...with overweight obese girls being more likely to try things like protein powders to build muscle and tone.

The take home? Talk to your kids about their diet and exercise, and ask youe doctor if there's a pattern of troubling behavior.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV-with the news doctors are reading health news that matters to you.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com