Many of us, it seems, are heading in the opposite direction. Those sedentary college-aged males are now leaving a bigger imprint -- on the couch.
"In the last 20 years, the population has gained about 20 pounds. Most of us need to make changes, but it's not something that's likely to happen overnight," Blackburn said.
For an athlete, the motivation to get -- and stay -- in shape is clear. Their livelihood depends upon it. With few exceptions, a thick waistline is not often equated with a thick wallet. For you and me, the payoff is a bit different.
"We all want to watch our cholesterol levels. And the connection between obesity and diabetes is undeniable," said Liz Trimarchi, a registered dietitian at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. "There are so many benefits to a healthier lifestyle."
Education is key. Know what your body needs and know what you're putting in it. Go for lean meats like chicken, turkey or fish over beef. Choose low-fat dairy products and Trimarchi suggests that you follow Mom's advice: eat those fruits and vegetables.
"I like to tell my patients to eat the rainbow. Eat as many different colors of fruits and vegetables as you can," Trimarchi said. "It's not all about subtracting things that you like. It's about finding good choices to add instead."
Perhaps Blackburn's best advice is never to bite off more than you can chew, especially when setting goals.
"If you don't like to cook, don't kid yourself. You can find wonderful, healthy choices when it comes to prepared foods or on many restaurant menus," Blackburn advised. "And please don't try to crash correct. Start with small changes."
Such as, doctor?
"Well, I'm doing this interview standing up rather than sitting. I'm fidgeting around a bit, so that means I'm burning 50 percent more calories than I would if I were sitting," he said. "It all adds up. Your body will be so happy it will reward you. You'll sleep better, you'll breathe better, your clothes will fit better."
Excuse me for a minute. I'm trying to type standing up. A few hundred more stories and it just might add up to erasing that 20 pounds.