Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Teen Health

Font Size

Image-Conscious Teens Prone to Supplement Use

Teens Turn to Potentially Dangerous Supplements to Build Bigger Muscles

WebMD Health News

Aug. 1, 2005 -- Peer pressure and media images of buff bodies may be driving a growing number of teenagers to turn to potentially dangerous supplements to bulk up their bodies and improve their body image.

A new survey shows nearly a third of teenage boys and girls say they frequently think about wanting more toned and defined muscles. Teens who feel that way are up to twice as likely to try supplements to achieve those goals.

It's the largest survey to look at the use of hormones, supplements, body image, and media influences among teenagers. The results show that teens' dissatisfaction with their bodies goes far beyond wanting to be thin and may lead them to use potentially dangerous steroids, hormones, or other supplements.

Impossible Physiques

Researchers say the study suggests that just as teenage girls may resort to unhealthful means to lose weight, teenage boys may also resort to unhealthy strategies to achieve their desired physique.

"More and more media images show people with sculpted physiques. It used to just be scantily-clad women, but now, you see more and more of images of men with physiques that are impossible for most people to attain," says researcher Alison Field, ScD, an epidemiologist in adolescent medicine at Children's Hospital Boston, in a news release.

"Girls' concerns about their bodies are well known, but I don't think it's on parents' radar screens that their sons might have body concerns -- 'I'm not big enough, I'm not strong enough, I'm not buff enough.'"

Body-Conscious Teens May Be at Risk

In the study, researchers surveyed about 10,500 teen athletes and nonathletes about their use of any substance to improve their appearance, muscle mass, or strength.

The results showed that 12% of boys and 8% of girls reported using such products. Nearly 5% of boys and 2% of girls used them at least weekly.

The most commonly used products were protein powders and shakes. Other products, used mostly by boys, included creatine, amino acids, the amino-acid metabolite HMB, the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), growth hormone, and anabolic steroids.

Today on WebMD

unhappy teen couple
mini cupcakes
teen couple
girl running with vigor
Sugary drinks
teen wearing toning shoes
young woman texting
teen boy holding a condom
Teen girls eating ice cream
teen sleeping
couple kissing
Taylor Swift