Researchers analyzed publicly available team reports from the 10 NCAA Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Youth football linemen copyteams from 1956 to 2014 to position-dependent trends over time in body size characteristics. Offensive linemen body weights increased by an astounding 37.5% from 1956 to 2014, compared with a 12% increase since 1961 in the general population, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Body mass index changed in parallel with body weight and exceeded 35 kg/m2 in more than 30% of contemporary NESCAC offensive linemen. Among skill players, time-related changes in body size characteristics generally paralleled those in the general population.

Source: Journal of Athletic Training, 2016