Navigation Links
As Pro Baseball Players Get Bigger, So Do Their Health Risks: Study
Date:3/4/2010

But N.Y. Mets team doctor disputes finding, saying better training, diet fueling the increase

THURSDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- The fattening of America has touched even professional baseball players: A new study contends they've been getting heavier and bulkier over the past century, resulting in a higher risk of weight-related disease and death.

Eric L. Ding, a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, examined the body-mass index of more than 15,000 major league players, stretching back to 1876. He found that the BMI for all players has steadily increased over the years -- with the largest increase seen in home run hitters.

"One reason we chose to study professional players is that there is such an amazing chronology and body of statistics of each athlete who ever played," said Ding, who was to present his findings Wednesday at the American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention annual conference, in San Francisco.

Ding compiled data on players from all six recognized major leagues that existed from 1876 to 2007. Using BMI as a measure of overweight, he found that 32 percent of professional players were overweight before 1880; 46.5 percent from 1940-50; and 55.5 percent from 2000 to 2006.

The trend was especially noticeable among home-run hitters. They were more than twice as likely to be overweight as other position players. The study didn't examine why hitters in particular, and pro ball players in general, were getting heavier. But, Ding said, the bigger BMIs probably reflect the sport's growing emphasis on power and strength.

In recent years, there has been controversy over the use of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing substances among athletes, including baseball players. Steroids are known to cause weight gain, which would increase a user's BMI. Ding's study did not address steroid use.

Regardless of the cause of bigger bodies, Ding correlated the increased BMIs with an increased risk of death. Studies have shown that being overweight raises the risk of a number of diseases and conditions, including stroke, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and certain cancers.

Dr. Struan Coleman, team physician for the New York Mets and a sports medicine specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, agreed that ballplayers' BMIs are growing, but he disagreed that there's a related health risk.

"Baseball players are getting heavier because they are getting stronger," Coleman said. "Baseball players are a very unique group" and should not be compared to the general population, where body fat is a greater problem.

When Mets players arrive for spring training, team trainers carefully monitor their weight and body fat percentage. The result is that very few players are fat, Coleman said, adding that the BMIs of players today are primarily due to muscle.

Modern athletes do more weight training and have better diets than players of 40 or 50 years ago. They also take more dietary supplements, he said.

"Size alone may not be the problem," said Coleman, suggesting that genetic predisposition and the use of steroids among some players several years ago may have heightened the mortality risk.

More information

To learn more about BMI, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



SOURCES: Eric L. Ding, Sc.D., Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; Struan Coleman, M.D., Ph.D., Hospital for Special Surgery, and team physician, New York Mets; March 3, 2010, presentation, American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention annual meeting, San Francisco


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Report Finds Widespread Steroid Use in Baseball
2. Pelosi Statement on Mitchell Report on Steroid Use in Baseball
3. Youth Impacted By Recent Mitchell Report on Major League Baseball Steroid Abuse
4. dLIFETV Premieres Eighth Season With Baseballs Comeback Player Dmitri Young and Leave It To Beavers Jerry Mathers
5. Phillies Pitcher Jamie Moyer and Wife Karen Continue National Expansion - Bringing Bereavement Camps for Kids to Every Major League Baseball City
6. Comeback to a Pre-Injury Level After Elbow or Shoulder Surgery Disappointing for Pro Baseball Players
7. Comeback to a pre-injury level disappointing for professional baseball players
8. Elbow, Shoulder Injuries Take Heavy Toll on Pro Baseball Players
9. Chicago neuroscientist contributes to book on brains and baseball
10. Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Don Sutton Helps Kidney Cancer Patients Stay In The Game(TM)
11. Injuries to high school baseball players becoming more serious
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... , ... Harbour , a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) that harnesses the ... their technical specifications . , 2017 has seen an explosion of token launches ... which offerings will garner the greatest ROI. Dean Eigenmann, Co-founder and CEO of Harbour, ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... , ... June 27, 2017 , ... A January 18th ... projected to reach a staggering $6.81 billion by the year 2024 according to a ... a faster rate than those made from titanium. Los Angeles area clinic Beverly Hills ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... Drs. Gregory Toback and ... in Mystic, CT. Covering the process and maintenance strategies of gum grafting and ... periodontal procedures. Drs. Toback and Urbanski practice as experienced periodontists in ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2017 , ... ... on what crooked bites can indicate about early life experiences. What happens to a ... study reveals that stresses after birth can also take a toll on a baby’s ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... June 26, 2017 , ... The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics ... of Richard Robinson as chief operating officer (COO). In this role, Robinson brings ... track record of simplifying business processes and developing growth strategies to increase market ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/9/2017)... , June 9, 2017 AirXpanders, Inc. (ASX: ... on the design, manufacture, sale and distribution of the ... the progress of its commercial roll-out in ... in more than one hundred (100) medical institutions and ... AeroForm offers a needle-free alternative for women who choose ...
(Date:6/7/2017)... , June 7, 2017 Endo International ... June 7, 2017, the Hon. Joseph R. Goodwin ... of West Virginia , entered a ... Inc. Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation (the "MDL") ... MDL cases to provide expert disclosures on specific causation ...
(Date:6/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... from the Phase 3 MONARCH 2 study showed ... inhibitor, in combination with fulvestrant, significantly improved progression-free ... in women with hormone-receptor-positive (HR+), human epidermal growth ... have relapsed or progressed after endocrine therapy (median ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: