Gridiron Gluttony

I’m a huge football fan, but according to this report, huge is the problem with football. Here’s a question. Where do mammoth NFL linemen come from? If you guessed, big kids, you’re onto something. Because a new study revealed that almost fifty-percent of linemen playing on Iowa high school teams qualify as overweight. Todd Dvorak of the Associated Press explains:
"These are 15- and 16-year-old boys that have a weight and body-mass ... that as they enter adulthood puts many at a very adverse health condition," said Dr. Joe Eisenmann, co-author of the study and a professor in pediatric exercise physiology at Iowa State…

…For years at the pro and college level, teams have sought bigger, stronger linemen who are harder to budge. Players have responded by adding weight and muscle mass, making the 300-pound lineman fairly common, sports medical experts said.
Personally I’ll take speed and skill over size any day of the week, but the issue of bulky lineman is more than just coaching preference. According to Dr. Fuhrman, it’s about health:
Bulking up is dangerous to one's longevity and power lifters and football linebackers often eat in a way that radically shortens their lives.
That’s why things like Chicago Bear Bernard Berrian’s bacon and syrup diet should make your head explode—especially since he's a fleet-footed wide receiver! Now, if a skinny wide out eats like that, imagine what the dietary habits of players like Sam Adams, Ted Washington, Langston Walker, and Jonathan Ogden must look like. For non-football fans, they’re all NFL lineman and all well over three-hundred pounds.

Playing professional football might be a dream come true for these guys, but a long healthy life seems like the ultimate win to me. For more on the potential dangers of “bulking up” check out these previous posts:
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