WASHINGTON — Super Bowl Sunday rivals Thanksgiving for pure gluttony, but it may be more hazardous to your diet and health.
That’s because the big game is an excuse for many of us to down way too much junk food. And all that fat and salt comes at a price.
The Calorie Control Council estimates the average American takes in 2,400 calories during the five-hour televised Super Bowl extravaganza.
But researchers at Cornell University say the actual number may be as high as 6,000. They originally started surveying grocery shopping habits to determine how long people stuck to their new year’s resolution to eat healthier, and stumbled upon a surge in high calorie purchases around game day.
And while veggie trays — with high fat dips — have surged in popularity, the traditional junk food favorites are still eaten in abundance.
The National Chicken Council says more than one billion fried chicken wings are consumed annually on Super Bowl Sunday. It’s also the biggest day of the year for pizza sales — with 12.5 million expected to be ordered this year.
And each serving of pizza — that’s two slices — has an average of almost 600 calories. A serving of fried wings is close in calorie count at about 570.
So what is the best strategy for those who overindulge?
The key is to eat sensibly, move more, and drink plenty of water to compensate for all that alcohol and salt, which can be extremely dehydrating.
Exercise is okay the day after the big game, even for those who feel a bit bloated. But it’s probably a good idea to skip that full-fat latte in the morning and drink black coffee or green tea instead.
Remember, it may take time to undo all that caloric damage. The WalkJogRun blog says the average runner needs to log four miles for each serving of fried mozzarella sticks, and two-and-a half-miles for each slice of pan pizza.