Kids and teens are stepping up their game. And with their sports competitions becoming ever more fierce, some go to unusual lengths to either rapidly lose or gain weight. Now, pediatricians warn these practices may help them win a game, but they may lose their health.
The report came straight from the American Academy of Pediatrics and points to some of the most common unhealthy weight loss strategies young athletes use. Things like excess exercise, laxatives and water pills, vomiting and voluntary dehydration.
On the other end of the spectrum, strategies to gain weight, like binge eating mega-calories and the use of steroids and supplements.
All this has serious consequences, including delayed growth, mood changes, a higher risk of eating disorders and academic performance can be affected.
So if you have a young athlete in your family, watch out for weight loss or gain, and encourage them to take healthy steps regarding their weight.
This means aiming for gradual changes, while eating a diet that meets all of their nutritional requirements and make sure they know supplements can't be a healthy part of their game plan.