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From Couch Potato to Gym Ratt 

Young Boys Obsessed With Body Image


When we think of body image issues our mind automatically goes to women or girls but young boys are the new group consumed with unattainable body image. A recent study published in the journal of Pediatrics indicates that 40% of boys in middle school and high school regularly exercise with the goal of increasing muscle mass.
"At face value, this doesn't sound like a problem" says Reggie Dulaney, owner of Panthro Fitness. "The problem arises when they get obsessed." Gaining the kind of muscle that these young boys are looking for may not be possible. Leaving them frustrated and looking for answers. Dulaney says, "Genetics can be a major factor in muscular development. When kids get frustrated that they aren't matching the picture of muscularity that they have in their head or look like whoever they are trying to look like they can turn to over training, use of supplements outside the suggested dosages or steroids."
Supplementation and steroids can affect the normal development of children. "The problem with supplements is they're not regulated like drugs so it's very hard to know what's in them," says Dr. Shalender Bhasin, a professor at Boston University School of Medicine and chief of endocrinology, diabetes and nutrition at Boston Medical Center.
Of course, girls are not exempt from the changing view of the perfect body. They are now interested in not just being skinny but being muscular as well. "If you use Facebook and go to Fitspo you'll find several pictures of extremely fit and muscular women with the banner picture of a woman in a tee shirt that says 'strong is the new skinny.' Being fit is important but there is a fine line when dealing with the psyche of young girls and boys," says Dulaney.
Over training and injury is another issue that can occur with kids being obsessed with building muscle. "I see kids in the gym all the time doing the wrong things and using poor form. Guys use too much weight and the girls typically work for far too long. They work out for hours and don't see the results they want so they work more and harder and eventually injury will occur" indicates Dulaney.
"The best advice I can give as a parent and a fitness business owner is to turn this into something positive by involving the child in a program that will teach them how to set reasonable attainable goals, eat, train and rest to reach those goals and the proper use of supplements when there are gaps in their nutrition," explains Dulaney.
Panthro Fitness, launched in 2008 by certified fitness expert Reggie Dulaney, is a co-ed training fitness program which specializes in the area of weight loss. Program details and client testimonials are available at www.panthrofitness.com. Dulaney, with over 10 years experience in the fitness industry can be reached at train@panthrofitness.com or 412-951-2906 for further information or additional comments.


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