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'It is not just girls these days who are consumed by an unattainable body image.
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.
“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 than it was a generation ago,” he said.
Paradoxically, the emphasis on weight lifting among adolescents may be depleting the number of contestants in teenage bodybuilding meets, because many children cannot pass a drug test. “You used to get a lot of teenage bodybuilders, but you don’t get them as much anymore,” said Andrew Bostinto, president of the National Gym Association. “A lot of these kids are juiced, so they’re not entering natural shows.”'
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