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Steroid intake putting teens at risk

Sydney: Boys as young as 13 are using steroids to attain the ``six-pack`` physique of their heroes, Australian health experts have said.

Clinical psychologist Rita Princi says boys are using steroids possibly taken from older brothers or parents, or through the internet, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

``Boys are wanting that buff, manly body and believe that one way to obtain it is to take steroids,`` Princi said.

``They are getting too focused on what they look like rather than who they are,” the expert added.

Jenny O`Dea, a University of Sydney child health researcher, said she conducted a 2002 study and found that teenage boys had started using steroids or were buying pills from a gym or drug dealer to ``bulk up``, not knowing what the tablets were.

``In many ways boys are under more pressure than girls because the girls` task is to be slim but the boys`` task is to be slim and then build up muscle,`` Dr O`Dea said.

``The boys have it pretty tough,” she added.

The misuse of anabolic steroids can cause cardiac, liver and renal problems and lead to severe mood swings.


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