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Cutting Weight: A Major Problem in Wrestling

Rapid loss of fluid (ie, dehydration, also known as "cutting weight") is potentially life threatening and has been a particular problem in the sport of wrestling.

NFHS Wrestling Weight Management Program

In 1995, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) began a weight control program to minimize the weight loss fluctuations seen in many scholastic wrestlers and to certify an appropriate and healthy weight class for each wrestler. In1998, the NFHS disallowed any means of achieving rapid weight loss.

The current program for weight certification in high school wrestling varies from state to state, but several fundamentals are applicable nationwide:

  • Body composition (while appropriately hydrated) is obtained by an appropriately trained school or health professional before the beginning of the competitive season and is the foundation for calculating weight class and allowed rates of weight loss.
  • Weight class needs to accommodate a minimum of 7% body fat for high school males and 12% body fat for high school females.
  • Rate of weight loss may not exceed 1.5% of body weight/week.

Additional Information:

Last Updated
Pediatric Nutrition, 7th Edition (Copyright © 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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