WebMD Health News
Louise Chang, MD
Oct. 12, 2007 -- Contrary to popular belief, the typical anabolic steroid
user is more like an "Average Joe" than a professional athlete or
A new survey suggests that the typical anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS)
user is a well-educated 30-year-old male who wants to build muscles and
strength and increase his physical attractiveness. Researchers say the results
show the notion of the typical steroid user as a "cheating" athlete is
"These findings question commonly held views of typical AAS users and
their underlying motivations," Rick Collins of Collins, McDonald &
Gann, PC, in Carle Place, N.Y., says in a news release.
"The vast majority of AAS users are not athletes and hence, are not
likely to view themselves as cheaters. The targeting of athletes through drug
testing and other adolescent or sports-based interventions has no bearing on
non-competitive adult users."
In the study, published in the Journal of the International Society of
Sports Nutrition, researchers surveyed nearly 2,000 men about anabolic
steroid use via the Internet. Researchers say they used the Internet in order
to encourage men to participate by allowing them to remain anonymous.
The results showed that the average male anabolic steroid user is:
In addition, the survey shows that most did not start using steroids in
adolescence, nor are they motivated by athletic competition or sports
Instead, the typical anabolic steroid user wants to increase muscle mass,
strength, and physical attractiveness. Other motivating factors for taking
anabolic steroids were increasing confidence, decreasing body fat, improving
mood, and attracting a sexual partner.
Researchers found that men in this survey followed carefully planned drug
regimens along with a healthy diet and exercise practices designed to maximize
benefits and minimize harm.
"The users we surveyed consider that they are using directed drug
technology as one part of a strategy for physical self-improvement within a
health-centered lifestyle," says Collins. "Effective public policy
should begin by accurately identifying who's using steroids and why."
SOURCES: Cohen, J. Journal of the International Society of Sports
Nutrition, Oct. 10, 2007 advance online publication. News release, BioMed
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