Super snacking

Ryan Haidet

This Sunday, partygoers across the nation will flock to grocery stores to stock up on food. But is it possible to graze without the grease?


Charles Stuart Platkin, nutrition advocate and founder of, offers football examples to demonstrate how much effort it would take to burn off the Super Bowl snacks. His tips, according to a press release, include:

• 197 minutes cleaning the stadium after the game would burn off two slices of stuffed pizza with the works.

Tip: Opt for thin-crust pizza with veggies and eat it for lunch instead of as a halftime snack.

• A handful of Doritos would take 43 touchdown dances.

Tip: Eat one at a time, and don’t put out huge bowls of them. Make it so you have to get up each time you want more than six chips.

• 138.5 minutes of performing in a marching band would drop the 650 calories in a 6-inch Italian sub filled with salami, pepperoni, ham, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. Tip: Go for low-fat cheese and skip the mayo.

*(The exercise examples above are based on a 155-pound person.)



The number of times it would take doing the wave to burn off two pieces of fried chicken.

Tip: Make your own chicken with breading. Go skinless and bake it instead of frying.


To burn off five buffalo chicken wings would take 102 minutes of refereeing the game.


Spend 15 minutes looking for your car after the game to equal five pretzels.

Tip: Avoid pretzels loaded with cheese, which are also loaded with calories.


The number of beers that would require 64 minutes of climbing stadium stairs.

“Touchdown! High fives all around! The pizza’s here!”

This Sunday, millions of football fans across the country will tackle plates of popular snacks while watching the Bears and Colts collide in Super Bowl XLI.

High-calorie foods such as chips, chicken wings, pizza, beer and soda will be hit harder than a quarterback during a blitz as hungry fans scarf them down.

Jodie Luidhardt, coordinator of the nutrition outreach program at Kent State, said most Super Bowl snackers will eat deep-fried foods, chips and other high-fat, high-sodium foods, all of which take a great amount of effort to burn off.

Fruit vs. fried chicken

Instead of reaching for two handfuls of greasy potato chips, nutritionists and health officials say there are healthier alternatives.

“I would recommend they probably add more fruits, vegetables and whole grain to their diet,” Luidhardt said. “If they do the Super Bowl foods all the time, they probably have a high fat, cholesterol and sodium diet. They can still consume those foods because the Super Bowl only happens once a year.”

Moderation is key, she said.

“Not overdoing it is the concern. Maybe try bringing something that’s a bit healthier,” she said. “Maybe like a fruit or vegetable tray, which you probably wouldn’t see at a Super Bowl party. Maybe some baked chips.”

Halftime action, 7; Couch potato, 0

Besides healthier food selections, Luidhardt suggests activity.

“During the halftime show, if it’s a bad performer, they should try to get out and play football themselves or go for a walk,” she said.

Sarah Hallsky, a graduate assistant in the office of health promotion at University Health Services, had some other suggestions about Super Bowl eating.

“My recommendation for curbing your Super Bowl appetite is not to super-size your portions,” Hallsky said. “Most people snack the entire time. Instead of using full-fat ranch dips or nacho cheese dips with meat and eating those hot wings, try using humus with crackers or vegetables instead of fried. If you plan to drink, try alternating with non-alcoholic diet beverages or water, even flavored water.”

Food, friends, fun

This sporting event is the second-highest day for food consumption — bested only by Thanksgiving. So has the day become more about food than the game?

“I don’t think that’s what it’s become,” Luidhardt said. “It’s a time for people to get together to celebrate the end of a football season. A lot of people enjoy the commercials, but it shouldn’t be all about eating.”

Hallsky doesn’t think so either.

“Also, here’s food for thought — you should be able to have a good time without bringing on food or alcohol,” Hallsky said. “It should be about the game and your friends.”

Fans may want to consider that before attacking that second bowl of chili because they may have to run a football field 100 times to burn it off.

Contact features correspondent Ryan Haidet at [email protected].