Theme 6: Consequences of Using PAES

This Theme focuses on the physical and psychological consequences of using PAES and draws attention on the paradox that surrounds dietary supplement use in general; and in particular in sports and exercise. On one hand, the fact that a significant subcategory of PAES (specifically nutritional supplements) is regulated as food often creates the false perception that they are harmless. On the other hand, the same makes supplement formulations, safety, quality control and marketing claims unregulated. In the associated Session, participants learn that pharmaceutical and nutritional, legal and illegal, controlled and uncontrolled PAES have side-effects. The session aims to help learners reflect on their judgments in relation to the outcomes and consequences of using controlled/uncontrolled PAES. An open dialogue around the issue prompts participants to consider not only the consequences of PAES use but also the consequences of wanting to withdraw from PAES use.

This Theme contributes to interactive health literacy by building self-efficacy to make informed and evidence-based decisions on PAES by providing evidence on potential side effects regardless of the type and legal status and by deconstructing the optimistic belief that those side-effects ‘will not happen to me’.