This upcoming Super Bowl Sunday, the average NFL football fan will consume upward of 1,200 calories, including 50 grams of fat in the form of chips, dip, and Buffalo wings, according to the Calorie Control Count. A survey conducted on behalf of Nutrisystem Inc. found that one out of four football fans admits to gaining, on average, 10 lbs. over the course of an NFL season.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest day of food consumption of the year, right behind Thanksgiving. The USDA has released its Food Safety Tips for the Super Bowl, which includes washing your hands before eating or serving food, keeping raw meats away from other food items, and making sure food is both cooked and stored at an appropriate temperature.
“Between the 17-week regular season, tailgating, playoff parties, and the holidays, this time of year is one of the worst in regards to weight gain, especially for men,” said Dawn Zier, president and CEO of Nutrisystem. “The Big Game is like New Year’s and many men’s resolutions do not start until the football season has officially come to a close.”
In early January, Harris Interactive conducted a poll in which 1,283 people in the U.S. indicated that either they or their partnered followed professional football. During a regular NFL football season, 25 percent of individuals participating in the survey reported gaining weight by Super Bowl Sunday. The majority of participants admitted to gaining an average of 10 lbs.; however, 16 percent of respondents copped to gaining 20 lbs. of more.
In addition to the number of American football fans who admit to gaining weight, the number of men who start their diet on the Monday after the Super Bowl also shows the literal weight the NFL season places on the shoulders, hips, and bellies of its fans. The number of men’s programs ordered on the Monday following Super Bowl Sunday doubled the amount Nutrisystem receives on a normal day.
“Like the holidays, football Sundays are packed with celebration and stress — both of which are common triggers for overeating,” said Dr. Anthony Fabricatore, vice president of Research and Development at Nutrisystem. “With the season over, many fans are ready to get back in control of their eating and their health.”
Results from the Nutrisystem survey are on par with a similar study that tracked binge eating habits among the NFL’s most diehard fans. Researchers from INSEAD business school studied the eating habits of people in 24 cities with some of most committed professional football fans. Fans of a losing football team tend to eat 16 percent more saturated fats following a loss, while fans of winning teams consumed nine percent less saturated fat compared to their usual intake.