What can snooker teach us about obesity? Yes, it might actually have health benefits part one

Have you ever noticed that snooker seems a particularly sedentary sport yet the best players don’t have weight problems. In today’s climate, that must seem a little contradictory.

This is the first article in a three-part series of posts looking at the potential health benefits of snooker. Surprised snooker has health benefits? I am, too 🙂 Read on to find out more. Much like the French paradox, it is a simple fact that the World Champions of Snooker were all people of normal size and weight. I’m not trying to bash bigger people; I’m just trying to look deeper into the question of how to lose weight and why people become obese. The point is what sports can teach us about life and ourselves.

Champions become champions because they are the best version of themselves and work with what they’ve got.

Snooker seems an inherently less physically stressful sport than most others, except maybe Darts. So why haven’t the top players in snooker succumbed to the broader trend in current society of putting on weight?

I used to follow snooker around the world championships, so I listed all the main champions, past and present. There were big guys on tour, but I couldn’t think of a single one who won at the highest level.

I quickly listed the world championship winners I could think of and came up with:

  • Stephen Hendry
  • Ronnie O’Sullivan
  • Ray Reardon
  • Alex Higgins
  • Terry Griffiths
  • Steve Davis
  • Ken Doherty
  • Graham Dot
  • John Parrot
  • John Higgins
  • Mark Williams
  • Neil Robertson

The list goes on, yet all of these guys were a normal weight when they won and, I assume, had a normal BMI.

The weird thing is that their lifestyle would, in theory, help them pile on the pounds. Snooker halls are places you walk and don’t run. Lots of Snooker is about sitting down. The most challenging work you do is reaching to hit an awkward shot or walking to the table. You would think nothing particularly taxing, and you have food and drink on tap.

Most people  are convinced they have to bust a gut to lose weight. They genuinely believe that no pain means no gain and also no weight loss. Snooker kind of shows that isn’t the case.

Tomorrow comes part two.

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