Tony Romo is Overweight; Russell Wilson is Clinically Obese. Why BMI for Athletes May Not Be Correct.

Tony Romo recently made headlines due to a picture released with reports that he is overweight. In the picture he was wearing body protection which made Romo’s torso appear more robust than his actual body. The team responded that Mr. Romo is in good shape, and we believe them.

Curious on this issue, we decided to use the heights and weights of players to calculate BMI of each projected starting NFL quarterback for the 2016 season using the metrics listed on the player profiles. We then classified each athlete based on World Health Organization (WHO) standards.

Using this method, every NFL quarterback is at least overweight. The WHO criteria is based on a metric called Body Mass Index which is a calculation using the height and weight of an individual. According to the WHO, BMI 25 or above indicates “overweight”; a BMI of 30 or more indicates clinical obesity. See the table below to find your favorite quarterback and his classification. Note that by using this approach, one quarterback, Russell Wilson, is clinically obese.

*For mobile users, scroll to the right to continue viewing each table column*

Team Projected Starting Quarterback Height Weight BMI WHO Classification
Arizona Cardinals Carson Palmer 6’5″ 235 27.9 Overweight
Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan 6’4″ 217 26.4 Overweight
Baltimore Ravens Joe Flacco 6’6″ 245 28.3 Overweight
Buffalo Bills Tyrod Taylor 6’1″ 215 28.4 Overweight
Carolina Panthers Cam Newton 6’5″ 245 29.0 Overweight
Chicago Bears Jay Cutler 6’3″ 231 28.9 Overweight
Cincinnati Bengals Andy Dalton 6’2″ 216 27.7 Overweight
Cleveland Browns Robert Griffin III 6’2″ 218 28.0 Overweight
Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo 6’2″ 230 29.5 Overweight
Denver Broncos Mark Sanchez 6’2″ 225 28.9 Overweight
Detroit Lions Matthew Stafford 6’3″ 226 28.2 Overweight
Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers 6’2″ 225 28.9 Overweight
Houston Texans Brock Osweiler 6’8″ 240 26.4 Overweight
Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck 6’4″ 240 29.2 Overweight
Jacksonville Jaguars Blake Bortles 6’5″ 246 29.2 Overweight
Kansas City Chiefs Alex Smith 6’4″ 217 26.4 Overweight
Los Angeles Rams Jared Goff 6’4″ 215 26.2 Overweight
Miami Dolphins Ryan Tennehill 6’4″ 216 26.3 Overweight
Minnesota Vikings Teddy Bridgewater 6’2″ 215 27.6 Overweight
New England Patriots Tom Brady 6’4″ 225 27.4 Overweight
New Orleans Saints Drew Brees 6’0″ 209 28.3 Overweight
New York Giants Eli Manning 6’4″ 218 26.5 Overweight
New York Jets Ryan Fitzpatrick 6’2″ 223 28.6 Overweight
Oakland Raiders Derek Carr 6’3″ 215 26.9 Overweight
Philadelphia Eagles Sam Bradford 6’4″ 224 27.3 Overweight
Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger 6’5″ 240 28.5 Overweight
San Diego Chargers Philip Rivers 6’5″ 228 27.0 Overweight
San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick 6’4″ 230 28.0 Overweight
Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson 5’11” 215 30.0 Obese
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jameis Winston 6’4″ 231 28.1 Overweight
Tennessee Titans Marcus Mariota 6’4″ 222 27.0 Overweight
Washington Redskins Kirk Cousins 6’3″ 210 26.2 Overweight


We at Onsite Health Diagnostics believe it is important for everyone to understand the nuances of biometric measurements. The gentlemen listed are professional athletes playing a game where strength is paramount, and in order to qualify to play their position, they must carry more muscle mass per pound of body weight than normal men.

Body Mass Index is, therefore, not sufficient on its own to indicate the health of these gentlemen. In order to better understand their health, we would need other factors such as a waist measurement. Our suspicion is that their waist measurements would show that these men are perfectly healthy.

The same applies to any man who has a high percentage of muscle mass. With the increasing popularity of testosterone treatments among middle aged men, this phenomenon may apply to you or someone you know. Make sure that your health is being evaluated in a fair manner by taking the time to understand the details behind any health measurement you receive from your doctor or your workplace wellness initiative.

For additional information on Onsite Health Diagnostics please click here.

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