The can-you-be-fit-and-fat debate just got more fuel courtesy of a study presented recently at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in San Diego.
Researchers zeroed in on football players, especially linemen, to determine whether they have greater risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and Type 2 diabetes: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high fasting blood glucose levels.
The study included 69 professional football players and 155 professional baseball players, all currently playing. They were tested for fasting glucose levels, blood pressure, body mass index, triglycerides, cholesterol, waist circumference, insulin resistance and waist-to-height ratio (an assessment often given to athletes who typically have more muscle and less body fat).
The football players overall had higher fasting glucose levels, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratios and BMI compared with baseball players, although blood pressure numbers were lower among football players. Among the 19 linemen in the study, the numbers were even higher for fasting glucose levels, BMI, waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio. Some linemen can be bigger than other players.