Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
A growing number of boys are becoming obsessed with something that has long been a reality for tween and teenaged girls–body image. But instead of wanting to be lean and thin, these boys are after bulked-up, muscle-bound bodies, and they are going to great lengths to get them. From The New York Times:
“Pediatricians are starting to sound alarm bells about boys who take unhealthy measures to try to achieve Charles Atlas bodies that only genetics 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.
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 2,800 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.
“There has been a striking change in attitudes toward male body image in the last 30 years,” said Dr. Harrison Pope, a psychiatry professor at Harvard who studies bodybuilding culture and was not involved in the study. The portrayal of men as fat-free and chiseled “is dramatically more prevalent in society then it was a generation ago,” he said.”
Image: Teenager lifting weights, via Shutterstock
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Child Health, Must Read, Trends
Thursday, July 12th, 2012
Doctors from the World Health Organization and other groups have finally identified the cause of the mysterious illness that has claimed the lives of more than 60 Cambodian children, CNN is reporting. The illness appears to be a combination of viral pathogens, some of which are mosquito-borne, and it is apparently exacerbated by the use of steroid medications. From CNN.com:
The pathogens include enterovirus 71, which is known to cause neurological disease; streptococcus suis, which can cause infections like bacterial meningitis in people who have close contact with pigs or with pork products; and dengue, which is transmitted by mosquitoes.
The inappropriate use of steroids, which can suppress the immune system, worsened the illness in a majority of the patients, the doctors said. The World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to advise health care workers to refrain from using steroids in patients with signs and symptoms of the infection, which include severe fever, encephalitis and breathing difficulties.
While not all the microorganisms were present in each patient, doctors concluded the illness was caused by a combination of them and worsened by steroid use.
The WHO sources did not want to be identified because the results of the health organization’s investigation have not yet been made public.
“I’m very confident for the reason of the epidemic,” said Dr. Phillipe Buchy, chief of virology at the Institut Pasteur in Cambodia and one of the doctors who cracked the case.
Image: Cambodian children, via Warren Goldswain / Shutterstock.com.
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