Super Eating on Super Bowl Sunday

Healthy eating tips for your Super Bowl Sunday

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) A 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl will cost just under $4 million. And Americans will spend more than 10 times that amount snacking during the game.

No wonder the most-watched football game day is the second most important eating day in the US, just behind Thanksgiving.

While pizza, chicken wings, potato chips and other snack foods will bulge on party tables around the country, you don’t have to bulge or reach for the antacids after the big game.

There are ways to cut down on the estimated 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat the 111 million viewers each will cram into their mouths. Ah – that is 133 trillion calories – just during the game!

"Score big on Super Bowl Sunday by eating just a little less."

Before we get to the health, though, let’s take a look at the wealth of what will be consumed on Sunday.

  • The National Chicken Council says 1.23 billion chicken wings will fly into the mouths of Americans during Super Bowl weekend.
  • Pizzamarketplace.com estimates this country’s dominant pizza players – Pizza Hut and Domino’s – will sell 27 million slices of America’s favorite pie.

According to the Calorie Control Council (CCC) and Snack Food Association, Americans will crunch down on:

  • 11.2 million pounds of potato chips
  • 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips
  • 4.3 million pounds of pretzels
  • 3.8 million pounds of popcorn
  • 2.5 million pounds of nuts

To put all this in perspective, the CCC says the 27 billion calories and 1.8 billion grams of fat just from potato chips alone “are the same as four million pounds of fat, which is equal to the weight of 13,000 National Football League (NFL) offensive linemen at 300 pounds each.”

Beth Hubrich, a dietitian with the CCC, says, “You certainly don’t want to have a dietitian at your Super Bowl party calling ‘interference’ when you and your friends start overindulging.  But by doing a little game planning in advance, you can avoid becoming one of the millions of fans who eat 50 grams of fat in a very short period of time.”

Sports dietician, Eve Pearson, MBA, RD, CSSD, LD, told dailyRx News, "You're going to eat on average 1,200 calories during the Super Bowl on Sunday.  Why not make those calories count?  Offer foods that contain good nutrition such as guacamole, hummus, salsa, fruit and vegetable platters, whole grain crackers, and smoked or grilled meats on skewers. These foods provide a great deal of nutrition which will likely make you reach your 'I'm full' point faster than other non-nutritive foods."  

Here are some ideas for super eating during the Super Bowl:

  • Have a game plan for your game day menu and choose some lower calorie options.
  • Take a dip out of dips by using low-fat sour cream or non-fat Greek yogurt.
  • Substitute creamy dips with salsa.
  • Select whole grain and low-salt versions of pretzels and tortilla chips; pick up some baked chips.
  • Have some vegetables – carrots, celery, peppers and tomatoes – on hand for dipping.
  • Fill a bowl with black or green olives.
  • For beverages, offer no-calorie (coffee and tea), sugar-free or diet versions of sodas and beer.

Work off some of the calories by having a pre-game workout; and do something physical during half-time – throw a football, turn up the music to dance, or just get up off the couch.

For recipe ideas, check out the CCC’s web page for snacks.

And whether you’re a 49ers or a Ravens fan, enjoy the action and be a winner in the eating game.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
January 31, 2013
Last Updated:
August 19, 2013