For anyone who is (or is married to, let’s say) a sports-viewing fanatic, this research is exceptional in its irony.
Scientists at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock found that hardcore fans are more at risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and premature death than sports apathetics.
That’s because they usually eat more fast food and refined grains and have breakfast less often than non-sports fans. Not surprisingly then, people who really take their teams to heart also have a higher body mass index and drink more.
Interestingly, the researchers point out that previous studies have shown that sports fans are usually more psychologically healthy than people who don’t like watching games. That’s partly because they bond over the shared experience of rooting for the same team.
The message for fans who sorely lack the physical vigor of their favourite athletes: funnel some of that enthusiasm into playing sports rather than just watching them.