Obesity Rates Higher Than Expected in Teen Athletes

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Obesity Rates Higher Than Expected in Teen Athletes
Obesity Rates Higher Than Expected in Teen Athletes

TUESDAY, Aug. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Student-athletes have similar rates of obesity and high blood pressure as non-athletes, according to research published online Aug. 17 in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Jill Kropa, M.D., a sports medicine fellow at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia during the study, and colleagues analyzed data from 2,700 student-athletes in Philadelphia who received free preseason physicals over four years from the non-profit Athlete Health Organization.

Twenty percent of athletes were overweight; 24 percent were obese; and nearly 14.8 percent had higher-than-normal blood pressure. Those rates are similar to the general teen population, according to the study authors.

"Although the general presumption is that athletics and activity should help with weight and blood pressure control, our study suggests that student-athletes in Philadelphia are suffering from these conditions at the same alarming rate as their peers who do not sign up for school sports," Kropa said in a university news release.

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