Study Finds One in 12 Are Drunk at Major Sporting Events


A typical argument often made by stadium management is that it's nearly impossible to police attendees, particularly tailgaters, because they bring their own alcohol and don't patronize stadium vendors. Erikson countered, "For another study we sent actors who pretended to be intoxicated into events to try and buy alcohol -- 74 percent of the time they were served. So they aren't off the hook."

In a related matter, watching sports doesn't seem to be kind to the waistline either.

Though there are no statistics available specifically on tailgater's eating and habits or the average calorie consumption of game attendees, those watching at home pack away their fair share of food and drink.

The U.S. Calorie Control Council reported that while watching the Super Bowl, Americans scarf down 30 million pounds of snacks and enough fat to equal the weight of 13,000 NFL offensive linemen; the average armchair quarterback swallows 1,300 calories through food alone during the game ? and as many as 2,500 calories when you include beer, wine and soda.

Keren Gilbert, a registered dietitian and president of Decision Nutrition in Great Neck, N.Y., said over-indulgence is part of the sports watching culture, whether people attend the event or watch it on TV.

"You need realistic expectations for tackling the problem. I could tell you to bring fruits and veggies and put ice in your beer, but nobody is going to listen that," she admitted.

Instead, Gilbert advised setting a predetermined limit on how much you plan to eat and drink, and then sticking to it. Awareness of what you're putting in your mouth is also important, especially when you consider that just one chip can contain up to 10 calories and two grams of fat. She also recommended alternating every beer with a glass of water to slow down drinking and for those going to the game to nominate a designated driver.

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