Jul 14, 2016
Linemen Show Big Gains

A study of football linemen in NCAA Division III found their weight has increased 38 percent since 1956, significantly more than the 12 percent increase for the average male’s body weight in that time period. According to ScienceBlog, the study by researchers at Tufts University examined linemen from teams in the New England Small College Athletic Conference in five year intervals from 1956 to 2014.

The players’ height, weight, and body mass index were recorded and compared with males from the general population between 20 and 29 years old. Unlike other studies on the sizes of college football players, which mainly focused on Division I, this study focused on Division III players.

David J. Greenblatt, a Integrative Physiology and Pathobiology Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, and the primary author of the study, expressed concern about the trend toward heavier players, as well as the health risks that being overweight pose.

“Through selective recruiting, weight training and nutrition (‘hyper-nutrition’), we end up with a population of large linemen,” Greenblatt said. “The public health issue is that everybody involved with American football needs to develop concerted ways to assure the health of players when their football days are over.”

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