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Iowa Wrestling Study Weight Loss in High School Students

Charles M. Tipton, PhD; Tse-Kia Tcheng, PhD
JAMA. 1970;214(7):1269-1274. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180070035006.
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Changes in body weight were measured in 747 wrestlers from 30 Iowa high schools. During a 17-day period before certification, the average weight loss was 6.8 lb (3.1 kg) or 4.9% of the initial body weight, with most of these changes occurring during the final ten days. Questionnaire results indicated that the coach and the "other wrestler" were the most frequently consulted on how to "make weight" whereas the local physician was seldom consulted on this matter. Comparison of weight gains after the end of the season showed that the average increase was 13.6 lb (6.2 kg) higher than the weight at certification. Until more information is available that is specific for this age group, it is our opinion that medical supervision be provided when wrestlers have lost 7% to 10% of their initial weight or are losing weight in excess of 4 lb (1.8 kg) per week.


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