Use of 'alternative' supplements on the rise for teens

Dr. Jennifer Ashton discusses a new study that shows using probiotics, digestive aids and other non-vitamin supplements has doubled in recent years among teens.
3:11 | 06/19/18

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Transcript for Use of 'alternative' supplements on the rise for teens
Thank you, Lara. To our gma cover story, dietary sup policemens and your children. New report finds kids and teens have almost double their use over a decade. 33% say they use them each day and now some pediatricians are concerned. Dr. Jennifer Ashton is here with more. I'll walk over to you, Jen. Hello. Hello, my dear. Tell us about what this study found. It appeared in Jama pediatrics. About the use of alternative supplements and multivitamin use. They found over a third of teens and children are taking something but the use alternative treatments like body building supplements has doubled and that is a concern. Something that we're keeping our eye on. We want to poll our audience, do children in your family take vitamins or supplements, vote right now, and we have instant results. They're popping up right now. Look at this. It's about half. A little over half, right now 56% of you are audience say children and their families take vitamins and supplements. First of all, it's not a surprise. Lot of adults take those sup policemens and children learn from us and we pass that along. This is the big catch. With anything, we have to broaden our scope here to include the use of over the counter supplements, multivitamins. You have to weigh benefits and risks. You can't say, well, because I take this it's safe for my 5-year-old or my 13-year-old. You have to weigh those risks versus benefit and what is your advice if you have a child or a teen on a supplement when you're weighing those risks and benefits, what's your advice to those families out there. There were gender defenses here. Teen girls were more likely to take calcium and teen girls taking body building supplements. Number one, your senses, look, ask, listen. Discuss any of this with his/her pediatrician. It's always best, we say this over and over again, get these sources from real foods. That goes for adults as well. Much better than getting it out of a jar. Unless you have been advised to take a supplement by a health care provider. Take it in food you absorb it better. Right. We should be eating what our body needs. Be careful with the ones that look like candys. Exactly. All right Dr. Jen, thank you.

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