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AAP: Watch for Rapid Weight Changes in Young Athletes

FRIDAY, Sept. 1, 2017 -- In a new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, published in the September issue of Pediatrics, clinicians are reminded to promote healthy weight control in young athletes.

"Sometimes, children and teens in certain sports believe they need to achieve a particular body type to be successful," report author Rebecca Carl, M.D., of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, said in an AAP news release. "Unless they have a healthy strategy to work toward their goals, however, they can end up defeating themselves and causing health problems."

The clinical report describes unhealthy weight control methods and details policies and approaches to counteract these practices.

"Physicians should counsel young athletes that weight gain or weight loss regimens should be initiated early enough to permit gradual weight change before a sport season," the authors write. "Slow weight gain, in combination with strength training, will decrease gain of body fat. Slow weight loss in the athlete with excess body fat will decrease loss of muscle mass."

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Posted: September 2017