Archived Story

Mayo dietitian warns against excess snacking

Published 2:45pm Saturday, February 2, 2013

Super Bowl parties are more than just a group of friends getting together to watch a football game. By some estimates, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest feasting events in the United States (second only to Thanksgiving dinner) and accounts for $55 million in food and beverage purchases.

“The amount of snack foods this country goes through during this single event is staggering,” said Heather Plizga, registered dietitian at Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin.

Plizga cites the following Super Bowl-related food statistics:

• Almost 15,000 tons of chips and 4,000 tons of popcorn are consumed

• Twice the average daily amount of snack foods are consumed, about 30.4 million pounds

• Some 12 million pounds of avocado are sold in preparation for the game so Americans may gorge themselves on an estimated 8 million pounds of guacamole

• Sales of flavored snack crackers increase 68 percent

• Sales of frozen breaded mushrooms increase 36 percent prior to the Super Bowl

• Sales of processed cheese loaves increase 30 percent the week before the Super Bowl

• Sales of frozen shrimp increase 29 percent

• There is $237.2 million spent on soft drinks at grocery stores during Super Bowl week

• There is an additional $11.8 million spent in sales of beer

• Frozen pizza is the top Super Bowl seller at grocery stores

This kind of event can be especially hard for people watching their weight. Plizga recommends avoiding the ‘dieting mentality’ which segregates food into two categories; ‘good food’ and ‘bad food’. “Have a good time at the party, enjoy time with friends and savor tasty treats. But make sure to identifying the high-calorie snack items and balance them out with lower calorie options such as fruits and vegetables so that you are not breaking your calorie bank all in one sitting.”

Plizga says. “If a person wants to dive into the nacho cheese dip, do it! But it is important to make food choices that match up with your weight goals. It is possible to eat the foods you like and meet your weight loss goals at the same time; the key is keeping it all in balance.”

To schedule an appointment with Plizga or for more information about healthy eating, weight loss goals or other nutrition related topics, contact Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and Austin scheduling at 507-434-2001.