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March 2, 2005

Obesity in the National Football League

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2005;293(9):1058-1062. doi:10.1001/jama.293.9.1061-b

To the Editor: Obesity is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.1 The 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey (NHANES) determined that 31% of US adult men and women were obese, a doubling of obesity prevalence since NHANES II (1976-1980).2 Reports have indicated, although not fully documented, a trend toward larger players in the National Football League (NFL).3 We investigated whether, despite their status as professional athletes, a large proportion of NFL players would be classified as obese. We also compared the prevalence of obesity in the NFL with that of US males of a similar age sampled from the general population.

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