Fat Footballers Face Fleeting Future

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Sandra Porter

Folks have been enthusiastically commenting around the clock on the possiblity of using prisoners in clinical trials.

Meanwhile, Thomas Hargrove has analyzed obesity and death rates in the National Football League. He suggests that those pharmaceutical companies with anti-obesity drugs might be better off taking a look at Monday night football. Or, at Monday night football players. He found that 56% of the players in NFL are obese, with offensive tackles weighing in at an average of 313 lbs.

From Mark Uehling, Bio-IT world:

Some of Hargrove's data came from a retired pollster, David Neft, who maintained his own records about nearly 4,000 NFL players. Some 125 of the players born in the past 50 years are no longer alive and have conclusive causes of death.

Fifty percent of recently departed NFL players were obese while they were playing the game. Of the NFL players who were obese, 28 percent died before their 50th birthdays. A comparison to 2,403 professional baseball players was fascinating: football players are more than twice as likely to die before the age of 50.

Uehling suggests that football players would make wonderful candidates for testing anti-obesity drugs. But that's not all. He says other atheletes could be good trial candidates, as well. Head injuries could be studied in hockey players, mouth cancer in baseball players, Parkinson's disease in boxers, and hormone replacement therapy in cyclists.

I think the possibilities might even go beyond clinical trials. Maybe shampoo manufacturers could work out a partnership with frisbee teams and cross-country runners. Just imagine, no more funny hair after wearing your special Ultimate hat. It could work.