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Va Med Q. 1995 Summer;122(3):179-83, 185.

Health and weight control management among wrestlers. A proposed program for high school athletes.

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Pediatric Associates of Charlottesville, VA 22902, USA.


Weight loss is a part of any competitive sport which matches participants of equal weight or sports where participating at lower weights or with a thinner body habitus is considered an advantage. For some wrestlers, weight loss is excessive and often accomplished by methods that lead to loss of lean body mass and total body water. There is convincing evidence that this excessive weight loss is unhealthy for all individuals who follow these practices. Even greater harm is experienced by high school wrestlers who have not yet completed their growth and development. These health consequences include growth retardation, decreased academic performance, altered endocrine or hormonal function and damage to many vital organs. "cycling" of weight results in decrease in strength, power and endurance which would effect adversely a wrestler's likelihood of success. The VHSL has begun an educational program to inform coaches, wrestlers and parents about the hazards inherent in these weight loss practices. History suggests that education alone will not alter the present practices of weight loss. Therefore a weight management program similar to ones initiated in other states is being pursued by the VHSL. The pilot program this year is scheduled to be followed next year by a more wide-spread voluntary program across the Commonwealth.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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