[sumo] Question somewhat related to death of rikishi

Doreen Simmons jz8d-smmn at asahi-net.or.jp
Fri Jun 29 22:11:34 EDT 2007

On 2007/06/30, at 11:01, Jim wrote:

> Obesity is a well know factor in many cancers.
> Whether or not the sample size of a few hundred is statistically 
> significant isn't really the question here.  I'd have a very difficult 
> time accepting anyone who says that the average life expectancy of 
> rikishi is anywhere near that of their peers.  It would defy nearly 
> all modern medical thinking to believe that men who are grossly obese 
> for a significant portion of their adult lives would live as long as 
> their slimmer counterparts.

Most of them are not 'grossly obese' and most of the big ones are not 
are at peak heaviness  for many years; and in any case have you looked 
at some of the non-sumo people these days? Many of the counterparts 
have a very unhealthy lifestyle.

One final comment: AFAIK, no work has been done on the effect of 
excessive drinking on the physical condition of retired rikishi. The 
ones I mix with tend to be more careful these days -- but many of the 
oyakata of old who died relatively young were notorious drunks -- but 
it was so much part of the culture in those days that it hardly merited 

Doreen Simmons
  jz8d-smmn at asahi-net.or.jp

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