ATLANTA (January 31, 2013) Super Bowl Sunday is the “Super Bowl” of snacking! Research by the Calorie Control Council (CCC) and Snack Food Association finds that Americans will eat 30 million pounds of snacks on the big game day. That breaks down to 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 and 2.5 million pounds of nuts. The average armchair quarterback will consume 1200 calories and 50 grams of fat from snacking and that doesn’t even count any meals!
The CCC’s research reveals that potato chips, the snacking favorite, will account for 27 billion calories and 1.8 billion grams of fat. These 1.8 billion fat grams nationwide 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.
The CCC recommends pre-planning your Super Bowl event and menu to include lower calorie appetizers and beverages. When it comes to recipes, it is possible to cut the calories without cutting the flavor. The traditional “pigs in a blanket” can be made-over with reduced fat hot dogs and reduced fat crescent rolls. For dips, choose salsa, which is fat-free, and make dips/sauces with reduced-fat sour cream and non-fat Greek yogurt. Use more seasonings and spices such as garlic, cilantro, parsley and hot peppers to add great flavor, and go lighter on the salt (sodium). Add fresh fruit and vegetables for dipping. Try substituting grilled chicken kabobs for fried chicken wings, and you’ve got a healthy meal in no time!
Also, offer diet versions of beverages (e.g. sodas, beer) and have low-calorie sweeteners on hand for guests to use in tea and coffee. And during halftime, try getting a little extra physical activity to burn off super bowl snacks by tossing the football or play some video games that involve dancing/physical movement for players.
Beth Hubrich, a dietitian with the CCC, recommends planning a “Pre-Super Bowl Workout” before settling in to watch the game. “For example, to burn off those 1200 calories from snacking during the Super Bowl, it would take three hours of walking around a football field or one hour and 45 minutes of running. Or, if you want to get into the game spirit, it would take two hours of playing touch football to burn those calories,” she 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,” Hubrich notes.
Check out the Calorie Control Council's appetizer recipe section
to find a list of healthy spreads and dips perfect for the next Super Bowl party.
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About the Calorie Control Council
The Calorie Control Council, established in 1966, is an international non-profit association representing the low-calorie and sugar-free food and beverage industry. Today it represents 60 manufacturers and suppliers of low-calorie, low-fat and light foods and beverages, including the manufacturers and suppliers of more than a dozen different dietary ingredients including aspartame, saccharin, stevia and sucralose. For more information, visit www.caloriecontrol.org.