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Victoria Felkar: Women are choosing steroids to chase the perfect body

Frontline researcher Victoria Felkar reveals the reasons behind the alarming rise of performance-enhancing drug use among young women, how to navigate the blurred lines between legal and illegal substances, including SARMs and peptides, and why educational efforts must improve to help more people make informed decisions about the health and wellbeing
Victoria Felkar
Victoria Felkar

Victoria Felkar is an interdisciplinary researcher and instructor working across the fields of kinesiology, medicine, critical studies and the humanities. Here specific research focus explores women’s health and female hormone manipulation within sport and medicine. Follow her on Instagram. Visit victoriafelkar.com.

Victoria Felkar: More women than ever are using PEDs

For Victoria Felkar, a front-line researcher in the fields of women’s health and training, and performance-enhancing drugs, the rise of anabolic steroid use in young women is a hugely troubling trend.

Driven by social media personalities, photo and video editing software, unrealistic body images and the easy of accessing these substances through online chemists, Felkar reveals how fitness influencers and celebrities, often showcasing idealised physiques, are contributing to the pressure young women feel to conform to these unattainable standards, leading many of them to performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in pursuit of rapid physical transformation.

In a fascinating and wide-ranging conversation around women’s health, training, drugs, celebrity and body image, Felkar explains the mental and physical health dangers these women face, including severe hormonal imbalances, cardiovascular issues, and psychological effects, such as anxiety and depression. The health risks are not limited to immediate side effects but extend to long-term consequences that can profoundly impact overall well-being.

Education emerges as a critical solution to combat this dangerous trend, and Felkar emphasises the need for comprehensive awareness programmes that inform young women about the risks associated with PED use and promote healthier, sustainable fitness practices.

The interview also touches on drug use in elite sports, exploring how the rise of substances like SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) and peptides blurs the line between legal and illegal performance-enhancing compounds. These emerging supplements, often marketed as safe alternatives to traditional steroids, pose their own set of risks and challenges, further complicating the landscape of PED use.

Felkar’s insights offer a detailed understanding of the socio-cultural and economic factors that contribute to the increasing prevalence of PED use among young women. The discussion is a call to action for better regulation, education, and support systems to protect this vulnerable demographic from the allure and dangers of performance-enhancing drugs.

Listen to our exclusive interview with Victoria Felkar on women’s training, steroids and more!

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