Use of drugs and dietary supplements to improve athletic performance is not just a problem for Olympians — these habits often start in adolescence. Teens are drawn in by ads that promise “natural” ways to enhance athleticism and give them an edge on the field.
Many of these supplements seem innocent enough, and their health claims are strong. Drug companies can’t advertise something that isn’t true, right?
Actually, the guidelines for marketing dietary supplements are quite lenient. Teens should be cautious when considering their use, and pediatricians should feel comfortable having open conversations with teen athletes and their parents about the risks associated with performance enhancing drugs.