[sumo] Question somewhat related to death of rikishi

Mike Charlton mikekchar at gmail.com
Fri Jun 29 23:51:35 EDT 2007

On 6/29/07, Doreen Simmons <jz8d-smmn at asahi-net.or.jp> wrote:
> Most of them are not 'grossly obese'

I totally agree with you, but just to head off any potential arguments,
many statistics involving obesity use BMI (Body Mass Index) measurements.
By those measurements (a ratio of height and weight) most sumo
athletes are, indeed, grossly obese.  However, so are body builders with
4% body fat.  It's just a bad measurement for obesity in strength
oriented athletes (if not for everyone).

I seem to recall that most top flight rikishi are in the 30% body fat area.
Certainly fat, but not considered obese with that measurement.  However,
carrying a lot of muscle also puts a toll on the body and can lower
life expectancy (I wish I could cite some papers, but it's been years since
I did any reading in this area -- as usual apply salt liberally).

Hope that helps curb any confusion in terminology...


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