Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > Average age for youth supplement use: 10.8 years old!
March 7, 2012
Average age for youth supplement use: 10.8 years old!
Visitors, Please pay attention to this new data (which we believe understates the magnitude of this problem).  Parents and coaches are pushing young athletes to begin taking supplements at surprisingly young ages.  The average age for youth supplement use is now 10.8 years old! Please read that again and let it sink in.  Kids this age are NOT going out on their own to purchase supplements.  Adults are spoon feeding these kids these products and are the same adults that are surprised when these kids step it up and turn to steroids when they get to be 16 or 17. Now that we have your attention, visit the sections on our site that talks about supplements – they are NOT regulated and have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals and steroids.  http://taylorhooton.org/dietary-supplements/ Don

Over 1.2 million American adolescents are taking supplements for sports performance!

Data from the National Health Interview Survey indicated that about 1.6% of adolescents with an average age of 10.8 report taking supplements specifically for sports performance.

One of the popular supplements is Creatine.  Led by Will Evans, Jr. from the Texas Chiropractic College in Pasadena, researchers voice their concern over the use of creatine:  “The vase majority of research on creatine has been conducted in a laboratory setting with male athletes at least 18 years of age and there is scant clinical research on a healthy athletic population under the age of 18.  One has to ponder the potential for future use of more dangerous substances as well if use of supplements is occurring at 11 years of age.”

Commenting independently on the survey’s findings, Micheal Bergeron, PhD, exec director of National Youth Health and Safety Institute commented, “Even in adults, there’s little evidence that supplements, vitamins, and minerals have a performance advantage, except in rare cases where there is a documented deficiency.

“Why would we think these would work with kids, whose physiological demands and capacity are far less?

“The main point is that the thinking is wrong.  Supplements should not be the “Band-Aid” for overscheduling and a misguided emphasis on early success.  Parents, coaches and young athletes should be focused on a long-term, natural development approach:  plenty of rest, good diet, adequate hydration and having fun.  This recipe will go a long way toward enhancing a young athlete’s performance and health,” added Dr. Bergeron.

The sports nutrition market is booming in the US.  Dietary supplement for sports-specific and weight loss usage are worth about $23 billion.