Adolescent Use of Sports Performance Supplements Topic of Sept. 26 Guest Lecture



Sept. 12, 2007 – “Should Adolescents Use Sports Performance Supplements?” will be the topic of a guest lecture Sept. 26 at Southeast Missouri State University.

Dr. Mike Perko, CHES, FAAHE, associate professor and chair of the Department of health Science at the University of Alabama, will present the lecture at 6 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. The presentation is part of Southeast’s Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation’s Distinguished Lecturer Series.

A former NCAA Division I athlete, Perko takes a health behavior approach when looking at young adults and their use of unregulated dietary supplement products. While most researchers focus on the particular dietary supplement — Creatine, Ephedra or Andro — Perko insists that the most important variable is the process taken towards taking these products, and the internal and external influences that delay or assist their use. In 1994, he developed a survey to predict adolescent dietary supplement use which has been used by researchers around the world including the World Anti-doping Agency. Outcomes of his research suggest that the strongest source most likely to influence young adults away from the use of sports performance supplements are parents, physicians and athletic trainers. Meanwhile, his research outcomes indicate that coaches and the media influence them towards use.

Perko has testified at Senate hearings for passage of the Anabolic Steroids Control Act and has been invited numerous times to Capital Hill to advocate to congressional leaders for healthier schools and greater access for kids to become physically fit. Since earning his doctorate  from the University of Alabama, Perko has authored more than 25  peer-reviewed articles, has presented 90 national papers, and is the author of the book “Taking One for the Team: The New Thinking on Dietary Supplements and Young Athletes.” He’s been featured in Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, on ESPN Radio, and on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” to weigh in on the national debate on Ephedra, as well as serving as the NCAA’s expert speaker on dietary supplements from 2004-2006.