DETROIT – According to the Mayo Clinic, one in 20 teens report using steroids in hopes of performing better athletically or changing the way they look.
As many people head into the new year with resolutions to improve their bodies, local health professionals are encouraging families to pledge to stay away from performance-enhancing drugs.
Taris Jackson, the founder of Truth in Fitness, said kids often see images of people who look the way they do because they are on steroids.
Truth in Fitness has a mission statement of healthy eating and exposing the pitfalls of shortcuts through steroids, and Jackson created a pledge that hundreds of kids and parents have signed.
"The pledge is basically saying, 'I'm not going to use performance drugs,'" he said.
Performance-enhancing drugs can have side effects, some severe, and can cause heart and liver problems.
Instead of turning to steroids, those looking to be healthier and improve their bodies are encouraged to focus on safe methods. Nutritionist Kristin Pereira suggests that families spend time together to learn about health, nutrition and exercise.
She offered tips for being healthier without performance-enhancing drugs.
"A whole balanced diet, take a walk around the block. You're going to feel better, you're going to look better and you're going to do better, and it's as simple as that," Pereira said.
Sign the pledge here.