A new survey carried out by researchers at University of Minnesota has found that a higher number of teenagers, some in their 7th and 8th grade, are taking steroids and muscle-enhancing substances than previously thought.
The researchers surveyed more than 2,700 adolescents from middle schools and high schools in St. Paul and Minneapolis and found that just under 6 percent of boys admitted using steroids while 4.6 percent of girls had the habit.
The researchers also found that a very large majority of adolescents were interested in their body shape with over 90 percent of boys and 81 percent of girls revealing that they also exercised in order to increase their muscle mass. The study has been published in the journal Pediatrics.
"We've got some young people and in some cases pretty young, young people -- we're looking at middle schoolers -- who say they are using some of these pretty risky substances in order to increase their muscularity. And that's something we need to be paying attention to", lead researcher Marla Eisenberg said.