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Body Composition and Bone Mineral Density of Division 1 Collegiate Football Players

A Consortium of College Athlete Research Study

Bosch, Tyler A.1; Carbuhn, Aaron F.2; Stanforth, Philip R.3; Oliver, Jonathan M.4; Keller, Kathryn A.5; Dengel, Donald R.5

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 5 - p 1339–1346
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001888
Original Research

Bosch, TA, Carbuhn, AF, Stanforth, PR, Oliver, JM, Keller, KA, and Dengel, DR. Body composition and bone mineral density of Division 1 collegiate football players: a consortium of college athlete research study. J Strength Cond Res 33(5): 1339–1346, 2019—The purpose of this study was to generate normative data for total and regional body composition in Division 1 collegiate football players using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and examine positional differences in total and regional measurements. Data were used from the Consortium of College Athlete Research (C-CAR) group. Four hundred sixty-seven players were included in this study. Height, body mass, total and regional fat mass, lean mass, and bone mineral density were measured in each athlete in the preseason (June–August). Players were categorized by their offensive or defensive position for comparisons. Linemen tended to have the higher fat and lean mass measures (p ≤ 0.05 for all) compared with other positions. Positions that mirror each other (e.g. linemen) had similar body composition and body ratios. All positions were classified as overweight or obese based on body mass index (BMI) (>25 kg·m−2), yet other than offensive and defensive linemen, all positions had healthy percent body fat (13–20%) and low visceral fat mass (<500 g). The data presented here provide normative positional data for total and regional fat mass, lean mass, and bone density in Division 1 collegiate football players. Player position had a significant effect on body composition measures and is likely associated with on-field positional requirements. From a player's health perspective, although all positions had relatively high BMI values, most positions had relatively low body fat and visceral fat, which is important for the health of players during and after their playing career. The increased accuracy and reliability of DXA provides greater information, regarding positional differences in college football players compared with other methods.

1College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota;

2Kansas Athletics, Inc, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas;

3Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas;

4Department of Kinesiology, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas; and

5School of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Address correspondence to Tyler A. Bosch,

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.