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Open Access Research

Patterns of weight loss and supplement consumption of male wrestlers in Tehran

Ramin Kordi1*, Vahid Ziaee1, Mohsen Rostami1 and William A Wallace2

Author Affiliations

1 Sports Medicine Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Centre for Sports Medicine, Division of Orthopaedic and Accident Surgery, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

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Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation, Therapy & Technology 2011, 3:4  doi:10.1186/1758-2555-3-4

Published: 12 February 2011

Abstract

Background

To evaluate the weight loss behavior of male wrestlers in Tehran

Methods

This study was a population-based cross sectional survey. Subjects were 436 wrestlers randomly selected from the wrestling clubs in Tehran employing cluster sample setting method. Subjects were interviewed based on a designed questionnaire. Body fat levels were measured based on skin fold measurements.

Results

Weight loss methods practiced by 62% of all subjects during the previous year employing rapid (≤7 days before the matches) and gradual (>7 days before the matches) weight reduction methods (73% and 34% of wrestlers who reduced their weight respectively). In addition, opinions on weight reduction, the methods of weight loss used, and the side effects of the weight loss practices as well as consumption of supplements among the subjects were reported in this study. The mean percentage of body fat of subjects was 15.9%.

Conclusions

Rapid weight loss for matches and the use of unsafe methods of weight reduction such as fasting, and fluid reduction methods as well as acute side effects of weight loss were prevalent among wrestlers in Tehran. Some preventive measures including education and new rules such as scheduling weigh-ins immediately prior to the competitions and mat-side weigh-in are needed to prevent these unhealthy practices. The weight loss behaviors of these wrestlers should be changed from using dehydration methods to using gradual methods of weight loss.