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April 1978

Weight Loss in Wrestlers

Am J Dis Child. 1978;132(4):355-356. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1978.02120290027002

In general, there are two types of weight loss that are common to boys who participate in scholastic wrestling: loss of body water, and loss of body tissue, particularly of lipid stored in adipose tissue. Loss of body water is achieved by withholding drinking fluids, promotion of extensive sweating, and use of diuretics or laxatives. Loss of body fat is produced by semistarvation or complete starvation and participation in training programs that involve heavy exercise. A complicating factor is that the dehydration and semistarvation regimens are being used by boys who are growing, and the goals of achieving substantial weight loss while retaining optimal growth may be partially incompatible. The goal of retaining a normal growth pattern1 is assumed to be desirable and one that should not be compromised no matter how severe the pressures are from the athletic milieu.

The problems that arise result from the desire to "make"