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Body Size and Composition of NFL Players: Study Points Out that BMI is Not a Proper Indicator of ’Health Status’ for Football Players


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Aug. 26 - The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) recently published a study in its official scientific journal, The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Vol.19, No. 3, page 485-489) that confirms BMI (Body Mass Index) is not a proper indicator of health status for National Football League players.

The NSCA study, conducted by Dr. William Kraemer of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, contradicts a recent report that suggested a high prevalence of obesity as measured by BMI in professional football players (research letter in JAMA 293:1061-1062. 2005).

The NSCA study was conducted with 53 members of the Indianapolis Colts football team prior to the start of the 2003 regular season. Among the more notable findings of the study was the following:

“In our study we can observe that, regardless of the fact that the average for BMI in all positions shows athletes to be overweight or obese, when percentage fat is taken into consideration, athletes are considered to be healthy or in ’good’ health..”



The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research is the official research journal of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. For a complete copy of the research paper (Vol. 19, No. 3, page 485-489) or to speak with a leading strength and conditioning expert on the topic, media may contact the NSCA Public Relations Department at 800-815-6826.


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