Food insecurity and High School Football


An article jumps to a dubiouys conclusion when reviewing weight gain of college football players between their last year in high school and first year of college:

4. I’m also sure of what an SEC strength and conditioning coach told me is another confounder, and I swear this will be the saddest thing you hear all day: a lot of incoming freshmen, especially those hailing from rural high schools and homes below the poverty line, gain a huge amount of weight because their freshman year of college marks the first time they’ve ever gotten three adequate meals a day. That weight gain isn’t just late-night pizza: it’s a body used to doing work on half the fuel a well-fed body gets.

5. This is not just the anecdotal evidence supplied by one person. A Georgia high school team that made the 2011 state championships had problems with malnutrition. TheUSDA’s own report on food insecurity in the United States is terrifying enough, but go ahead and look at it compared to a map of starting roster talent shown by state. With the exception of Louisiana and Florida, the most food-insecure states also correspond to those producing the majority of college football talent in the United States

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This is a potentially huge problem for another reason. Poor childhood nutrition may be linked to higher incidences of late life neurological disorders: Alzheimer’s dementia, depression and Parkinson’s disease. The same family of ailments linked to CTE caused by concussions from repeated high impact trauma.