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High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

October 8, 2008 at 11:12 AM

Are football players too heavy?

I saw this story in the Boston Globe the other day and wanted to pass it along. The premise in 10 words or less? Prep football players are huge, and in an unhealthy way.

300 pounders in high school are as common as ever. Most times, according to this article, it’s due to obesity. I’m sure many of you remember linemen back in the 1960’s and 1970’s that tipped the scales at 200 pounds or less — which would be almost a joke of some schools these days.

But bigger isn’t necessarily better.

Football players have always been big, but recent research suggests that the size of today’s athletes is especially troubling. Studies published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Journal of Pediatrics found that children who play football are overweight and obese at rates far exceeding their classmates who do not play. A study of nearly 3,700 high school linemen in Iowa found that 45 percent were overweight and 9 percent would be classified with severe adult obesity.

The article also contends that football is a “haven” for overweight kids. And that these kids are susceptible to health problems and injuries at high rates.

Bigger kids however, are often (not always) the ones on college radars. And a full-ride scholarship to a four-year university can be quite the motivator to reach an ideal size.

I’m curious to hear what you guys think. Is the growing size of high-school football players — particularly linemen — as big a problem as this article contends?

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