While it is healthy to adopt some lifestyle changes, millennials are much more likely than any age group to go to extremes, like using supplements and working out more than four days per week, to obtain six-pack abs or bigger muscles, show results of a new survey in the US.
But doctors warn that supplements are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and could have unintended health consequences.
And while gym culture encourages men to push themselves to their limits, intense workout schedules often lead to burnout and an unhealthy rise and fall in weight and muscles mass.
The survey commissioned by Orlando Health, a network of hospitals based in Orlando, Florida, found that 90 per cent of men in the US have changed their daily habits to reach their fitness goals.
Instead of discussing the issue or seeking advice from their doctors, men often turn to supplements and extreme workout regimens to change their bodies, the findings showed.
“We often use the analogy that our bodies are a lot like our cars,” Jamin Brahmbhatt, an urologist at Orlando Health South Lake Hospital, said in a statement.
“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,” Brahmbhatt added.
The survey was conducted by telephone by ORC International on behalf of Orlando Health from March 8-11, among 1,003 US adults ages 18 and older.
“The daily habits that they (men) think are improving their health could actually be putting it at risk,” Brahmbhatt said.
“A lot of claims on the labels of supplements and shakes are, at best, unresearched, and at worst, potentially dangerous,” Brahmbhatt added.
In order to open a conversation about male body image and discuss the possible dangers of going overboard for the sake of obtaining six-pack abs or bigger muscles, Brahmbhatt, along with Sijo Parekattil, also of Orlando Health, US, will be conducting a road trip from June 4 -9.
Brahmbhatt and Parekattil will kick-off this year’s event in New York City on June 4, Orlando Health said in a statement.
On their way, they will make stops in Philadelphia, Columbus, Chicago and Houston before ending their journey with a grand finale event in Clermont, Florida, the statement added.