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June 22/29, 2005

Obesity in the NFL—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor

JAMA. 2005;293(24):2999. doi:10.1001/jama.293.24.2999-b

In Reply: We agree with Dr Lesser that there are limitations in using BMI to estimate body fatness in professional football players. We stated this in our Research Letter, which we do not feel misled readers into believing that increased BMI, particularly at the lower range, equates with obesity. Lesser questions the assertion that the extreme weights seen in some NFL players are not due to increases in lean body mass alone. We look forward to seeing definitive studies of body composition and risk factor assessment in professional and amateur athletes with high BMIs. Until then, we and others cannot assume that one’s status as a professional athlete guarantees leanness and health.

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