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Men warned not to use steroids to achieve Love Island-style body | UK News

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With Love Island back on our screens, young men are being warned not to resort to steroids in their bid to emulate the “ripped” physiques they see on TV.

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has timed a new report on the dangers of image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs) to coincide with the popular reality show, which kicked off another series last week,

The organisation is concerned that the bodies promoted on such programmes and social media, coupled with the struggles people have to stick to new year gym regimes and diets, could make the drugs enticing.

Love Island winter series 2020. Pic: ITV PLC
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Love Island and its immaculately-toned physiques returned this month. Pic: ITV PLC

Chief executive Nicole Sapstead said: “Young men are being bombarded with imagery of the ideal sculpted body on social media and through high-profile television programmes.

“However, not everyone has the motivation or in fact the physiology to achieve this body type through exercise and healthy eating – and some of these individuals may feel that using IPEDs, and any steroids in particular, is the only or fastest way to achieve their goal.”

According to a 2016 survey on IPEDs, 56% of people who took them did so for body image or cosmetic reasons.

The most common demographic for steroid use was males aged between 20 and 24.

And in 2019, research for UKAD’s Clean Sport Week scheme found that a third (34%) of UK gym users knew other members who took the drugs, with nearly a sixth (14%) knowing someone who suffered from the effects.

Some 14% confirmed they had taken an IPED at some point, with a quarter of that number (27%) still using.

The new report says the most commonly used IPEDs include testosterone, nandrolone and stanozolol.

These anabolic steroids can lead to potentially dangerous medical conditions such as heart attack, stroke, liver and kidney failure, high blood pressure and blood clots, the report warns.

It is not illegal to have the class C drugs for personal use, but a prescription is needed to buy them.

However, they are increasingly being sold with no regulation online.

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Some people told UKAD they used social media to arrange buying the drugs

UKAD chair Trevor Pearce said: “The increasing availability and ease of acquiring anabolic steroids via social media and the internet is extremely alarming.

“UKAD has recently spoken to several individuals who obtain anabolic steroids via Facebook or WhatsApp.”

He added: “This highlights the need for a greater multi-agency approach between government, anti-doping agencies, law enforcement, public health bodies, educational institutions, sports and social media companies, to look at the current landscape around the illicit trade in IPEDs, and ultimately increase action to tackle this problem.”



insta diet



How ‘healthy eating’ obsession caused illness

Last year, nutritionists hit out at social media platforms such as Instagram for contributing to a rise in eating disorders, including anorexia, as people sought to improve their body image by dieting.

Some accounts were accused of fuelling a mental health condition called orthorexia, which is when someone becomes obsessed with eating healthily to the point where they can become dangerously ill.

In September, Instagram and Facebook imposed age restrictions on content about diet products and plastic surgery deemed potentially dangerous to those seeking quick body fixes.

Such posts were hidden from users under 18, and some were completely banned.

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