- 7 in 10 football fans will overindulge this Sunday, with the average fan planning to eat food totaling 10,821 calories and 180 grams of saturated fat
- Football fans are more likely to know the number of touchdowns or yards their quarterback has thrown this year, than their cholesterol figures
- Less than half know that high cholesterol has no symptoms
New research released today reveals that the average football fan in the United States will eat a staggering 10,821 calories and 180 grams of saturated fat this Sunday – the day of the big game.
The mind-boggling quantity is more than four and half times the recommended daily calorie intake – and equates to the same level of saturated fat a person should consume in a week.
— Opinium (@OpiniumResearch) January 30, 2020
The research comes from LetsGetChecked, a leading direct-to-consumer at-home health testing and insights company, which polled 1,000 Americans who plan to watch the game on Sunday. The average fan said that on game day, they plan to eat:
- 2.7 portions of hot wings
- 3.2 slices of pizza
- 2.1 portions of fries
- 3.4 bags of chips
- 1.9 portions of chilli
- 2.4 burgers
- 1.7 sliders
- 2 hot dogs
- 2.7 portions of nachos
- 3 pieces of fried chicken
- 1.8 ribs
- 1.7 sausages
- 1.6 slices of cake
- 1.8 brownies
- 1.8 bowls of ice cream
- 2.3 portions of salad
- 2.1 subs
- 1.7 bags of sweets
- 1.9 bars of chocolate
The huge amount of food can be partly accounted for by seven in ten (69 per cent) football fans saying they plan to overindulge on game day.
The figures are concerning, with health experts calling the consumption of food at this level, on any kind of regular basis, dangerous.
Dr Robert Mordkin, Chief Medical Officer for LetsGetChecked said: “Binge eating to this extent for any prolonged period of time can lead to a variety of health related issues such as weight gain and hypertension. Both of these diagnoses are often seen in patients who have high cholesterol levels.”
The startling statistics show that many football fans have a far better knowledge of their team's playing statistics than their own health statistics.
Some 40 per cent of those who consider themselves to be football fans can accurately recall how many yards their quarter back has thrown this year; 45 per cent know how many touchdowns they have thrown, and 38 per cent know how many yards their running back has rushed on average.
In contrast, just 36 per cent of Americans know what their own cholesterol level is.
The survey also revealed that most Americans do not have a grasp on the amount of saturated fat that exists within classic football snacks.
Highlighting the lack of insight, the average football fan believes there are 6.4 grams of saturated fat in a burger, when in fact, there is on average 15. Additionally, respondents believe there to be 6.5 grams of saturated fat in a sausage, when the actual amount is 10.
In total, a quarter (25 per cent) of football fans have been diagnosed with high cholesterol. However, the figures could be far higher, as more than a fifth (21 per cent) have never been tested. This may be due to widespread misconceptions around symptoms of high cholesterol.
For example, a quarter of respondents (25 per cent) think that gaining weight is a symptom of high cholesterol, whilst 18 per cent believe shortness of breath is.
In addition, 15 per cent believe light-headedness and chest pain could be symptoms of a high-cholesterol. However, the reality is that there are no symptoms – something just 43 per cent of Americans know.
The advice from the National Institutes of Health and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute stipulates that men aged 45-65 and women aged 55-65, should have their cholesterol checked every one to two years. Both bodies recommend adults aged between 20 and 45 years of age should have their cholesterol checked every five years, while screening for children should start between nine and 11 repeated every five years – more frequent if there is a family history of the condition.
Dr Robert Mordkin, Chief Medical Officer for LetsGetChecked said: “First things first; we don't want to make footballs fans feel guilty about a little overindulgence on the day of the big game. But the amount of food many fans plan to put away, is quite staggering and I would ask people to question if they need to be eating quite so much. It becomes a problem when the occasional overindulgence becomes a regular occurrence.
He continued: “The research shows that there are Americans that are currently in the dark about their cholesterol levels – in fact, more can recall complex player and team stats, than they can their own cholesterol level. High cholesterol is linked to various serious, sometimes fatal conditions such as heart attack and stroke. I encourage those that don't know their cholesterol numbers to take control of their health and get screened. Knowledge is power and it's only through knowing that we can really hope to take control of our health.”
The data forms part of an ongoing study that LetsGetChecked has been conducting into the way health varies from state-to-state. A new website launched today, allows users to compare, based on eight different health factors, which States are the healthiest.