Sports, Athletes, and Weight Loss: Health Concerns Essay

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Weight Loss by Athletes and Health Concerns Waking up, sophomore Mike Fumagalli would peel off the garbage bags and layers of clothing he had worn to bed the night before hoping to "sweat away" some extra weight. Throughout the day, he would ask teachers to use their trashcans and would spit constantly. Sometimes, he would even cut his hair or sit in a sauna, all to lose a couple more pounds. Many people may wonder why someone would go to such extreme measures just to lose a few pounds. For Fumagalli, the answer was simply: "Everyone likes to win. That's why you cut weight." "Cutting weight" is a term that refers to a wrestler's attempt to lose a certain amount of weight in order to compete in a particular weight…show more content…
"In wrestling, you're not necessarily going for permanent weight loss. Weight loss isn't the goal but a means of attaining the goal," said Holman. Health concerns Rachel Haas, a registered dietitian at Provena St. Joseph Medical Center, says she discourages wrestlers from cutting weight because it is very "detrimental" to the body. Health complications such as lowered blood sugar, increased use of muscle tissue, reduced ability for muscles to use oxygen and reduced ability for the body to regulate temperature could all result from rapid weight loss, said Haas. In fact, between November 7 and December 9, 1997, three collegiate wrestlers died after trying to rapidly lose weight. The wrestlers were using weight loss methods now prohibited by the NCAA, including the use of vapor-impermeable suits. A report by Dr. Daniel Remick of the Centers for Disease Control said the three wrestlers, having practiced weight-loss techniques such as vigorous exercise in hot environments, lost an average of 30 pounds from the pre-season until the times of their deaths. "Under such conditions, particularly when dehydration is involved, there are no established limits for safe weight loss," said Remick. "The sudden deterioration and resulting deaths of previously healthy, young, well-trained
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