American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
For Immediate Release May 19, 2005

OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS:  The Michigan Weight Monitoring Program for high school wrestlers successfully decreased extreme weight loss and the use of potentially harmful weight loss methods among high school wrestlers. That was the conclusion of a study conducted by Dr. Robert Kiningham, Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan. He recently presented his findings at last month’s 14th Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine in Austin, Texas.

Dr. Kiningham distributed questionnaires to all Michigan high school wrestlers in Feb of 1996, one season prior to the implementation of the Weight Monitoring Program, and then again in Feb of 2000, the third season of the program. Completed surveys were received from 2532 wresters in 1996 and 1525 wrestlers in 2000. In 2000, fewer wrestlers lost weight. Among wresters who did lose weight, average weight lost was significantly less in 2000. Significantly fewer wrestlers in 2000 lost more than 5 and 10 pounds in the week prior to a match. The percentage of wrestlers who reported engaging in at least one potentially harmful weight loss method, such as fasting, rapid dehydration, or vomiting, at least once a week-- dropped from 75% in 1996 to 63% in 2000.

The Michigan Weight Monitoring Program establishes a minimum wrestling weight equal to 7% body fat for all high school wresters. Wrestlers cannot lose more than 3% of their weight in a week. The program also mandates nutrition education for all wresters and coaches. It was fully implemented by the Michigan High School Athletic Association in the
1997-98 wrestling season.

Robert Kiningham, MD is a member of AMSSM.

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was organized in 1991 by physicians who recognized the need for an organization within the field of sports medicine that approached athletes, exercising individuals, and teams comprehensively with consultative and continuous care of their orthopedic, medical, nutritional, and psychosocial issues. Although sports medicine concepts are often thought of in conjunction with professional and elite athletes, these concepts apply to athletes of all levels including grade school, high school, college and recreational athletes. AMSSM is comprised of over 900 Sports Medicine Physicians whose goal is to provide a link between the rapidly expanding core of knowledge related to sports medicine and its application to patients in a clinical setting.

NOTE: For more information, please contact the AMSSM, 11639 Earnshaw, Overland Park, KS 66210, (913) 327-1415 or [email protected] .

NOTE: For more information, please contact the AMSSM, 4000 W. 114th St., Suite 100, Leawood, KS 66211, (913) 327-1415.

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4000 W. 114th Street, Suite 100
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Phone: 913.327.1415

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