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Moobs And Steroids

Thursday, February 5th, 2009 Moobs And Steroids

“The number of men seeking corrective surgery for “man boobs”, or “moobs” is expected to hit a record high, according to a new report”. Chris Irvine of the Telegraph along side Richard Ford and Lucy Bannerman of the Times (24 01 09) all cover this intriguing story.

What is also significant is the fact that fat was once thought as a feminist issue. However, that was before the birth of the metrosexual, and his modern nemesis – the “moob”.

Notwithstanding, drug specialists are also concerned at the rise of young men using illegal anabolic steroids to improve their physique.

Indeed, new figures from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons are expected to show that the number of men opting for breast-reduction procedures last year rose by nearly half. The figure has already increased tenfold from only 22 operations in 2003, to 224 in 2007.

Hitherto, the Governments advisers on drugs have observed that the use of anabolic steroids are becoming popular among non-traditional drug-users keen to improve their physique, rather than just athletes.

Les Iverson, the chairman of the technical committee of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, told a meeting late last year: “There is a much wider use in the community of anabolic steroids by young men for cosmetic reasons and by security guards who feel the need to be big and strong to do their job.”

Anabolic steroids, taken in tablet or injected in liquid form, are prescription-only drugs but it is not illegal to possess them. However, possession with intent to supply is illegal, carrying a maximum 14-year jail term or unlimited fine. Undoubtedly this is a very serious issue. The difficulty here is that users are able to get round controls on the drug by buying them from internet sites, obtaining them from friends or buying them overseas.

Latest estimates from the British Crime Survey suggest that 179,000 people aged 16-59 have used anabolic steroids but Professor Iverson told the committee that the figure might be more than 200,000.

Mike Linnell, of the Lifeline drugs charity in Manchester, said that needle-exchange projects are reporting rising numbers of men injecting steroids for cosmetic reasons. “What we have seen over the last two years is a growth in people who are not drug-users in the traditional sense. They are coming in because they used anabolic steroids because they wanted to look good. It is all about image, about looking good. This is now right across the board.”

Ironically, the side-effects of abusing steroids, which include acne, the growth of breasts, shrinkage of the testicles and erection problems, are potentially devastating for young men with a fixation about the body beautiful.

The warnings come as Susie Orbach, the author of Fat is a Feminist Issue, claims Western society is in the midst of a new “beauty terror.”

In an interview with The Times, she warns that “body distress” is now a universal problem.

She said: “Since I wrote Fat is a Feminist Issue, the problems I sought to describe have mushroomed. Eating problems and body distress now constitute an ordinary part of everyday life for many people and many families.”

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