A new study from Orlando Health, a Florida-based chain of hospitals, claims that 90 percent of men have changed their lifestyle to reach their fitness goals, with over half of millennials surveyed admitting to unhealthy habits like unregulated supplements and working out more than four days per week.
Turning their backs on doctors, young men are choosing to take health food store supplements in a bid for physical perfection.”Finding that healthy balance can be a challenge, but it’s something that men should be speaking to their doctors about. The daily habits that they think are improving their health could actually be putting it at risk,” said Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, a urologist at Orlando Health.
Overdosing, counteracting other medications, and bad reactions cause thousands of people every year to be rushed to the emergency room. In 2015, Americans spent $2 billion on non-FDA approved dietary supplements for weight loss. By 2022, the market is expected to be valued at over $220.3 billion.
What’s even more concerning is that all this effort isn’t even about trying to attain a bodybuilder physique. The simple pressure to be toned or to appear in shape is driving an entire generation of men to put their health at risk. Another study earlier this year revealed when college students are given pictures of toned or muscular men, it led to a lower level of body satisfaction. When the researchers asked the participants why they felt more shame towards just toned body types, rather than overt muscles, they said a toned body was an achievable possibility, in turn, making them feel lazy.
The network of hospitals that conducted the new research found that part of the problem is millennial men’s desire for a quick-fix body solution. “It seems like if we take all these supplements maybe we’ll get there faster,” said Dr. Sijo Parekattil, who also oversaw the survey. “You’re thinking about the immediate gratification or immediate needs, and you’re not thinking long term, and that’s where some of the dangers lie.”
The two doctors behind the Orlando research are raising awareness by driving across the country, advising men along the way to switch the supplements for a visit to their physician. “We often use the analogy that our bodies are a lot like our cars,” said Brahmbhatt. “Men will take the time to do preventative maintenance on their cars, like getting tune-ups and oil changes, but for whatever reason, we often don’t take the same time and effort for our health. We need to change that mindset.”