There may be some truth to the notion that some fans live and die with their teams.
It’s not necessarily because of wins and loses, however. It may have to do with their eating and exercise habits. A survey conducted last year at the University of Arkansas Little Rock found that fervent sports fans have worse dietary habits and exercise less than those who don’t follow a particular team that closely.
Daniel Sweeney and Donna Quimby, professors at Arkansas Little Rock, conducted the study in which 515 people on campus responded to an e-mail survey.
“I’ve heard from people who say, ‘I want to drink beer and eat nachos and chicken wings,’ ” said Sweeney, who is a professor of sport management. “That’s cool, because it’s part of the experience. Eat, drink and be merry. But the point is you have the other days of the year when you’re not attending games where you can make better choices.”
The survey found that 26 percent of sports fans ate vegetables only one to three times a month, compared with 19.2 percent of non-sports fans, while 11.9 percent of sports fans have four or more drinks when they consume alcohol compared with 3.2 percent of nonsports fans.
“The statistics we did report were statistically significant,” Sweeney said, “meaning the difference between the two groups wasn’t because of chance, it was because something was going on there.”