Sports: hazardous to your health | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sports: hazardous to your health

Posted By on Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 9:28 AM

Anybody whose watched the baseball beer garden crowd swill brews, puff smokes and curse the ump will readily understand where this new UALR research is coming from:

In findings presented at the Arkansas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Conference, professors at UALR’s Department of Health Sciences have discovered that sports fans may engage in riskier health related behaviors than non-sports fans, placing them at an increased risk for illnesses related to unhealthy living practices, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and premature death.

Duh. It's healthy to play sports. Rooting yourself on the sofa with a bowl of chips and a six-pack for hours of sports watching? Not so much.

 

UALR Researchers Fear Sports May Be Hazardous to Fans’ Health

LITTLE ROCK, (Nov. 13, 2008) – Ball park hot dogs may be putting sports fans at elevated health risk, researchers at UALR said in research presented last week. 

In findings presented at the Arkansas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Conference, professors at UALR’s Department of Health Sciences have discovered that sports fans may engage in riskier health related behaviors than non-sports fans, placing them at an increased risk for illnesses related to unhealthy living practices, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and premature death.  

The research team of Drs. Daniel Sweeney, professor of sport management, and Donna Quimby, professor of exercise science, found that people who are more personally committed and emotionally involved with a sports team have a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) than do people who are less personally committed and emotionally involved with a sports team.

Additionally, the more enthusiastic sports fans eat fast food more often, have diets which are higher in fat, eat less vegetables, eat breakfast less often during the week, and consume more refined grains as opposed to whole grains than those less identified with a team. "The study results also revealed that the more psychologically connected fans are to a team, the more likely they are to consume more alcoholic beverages on the days that they choose to drink than do less excited sports fans.

“Obesity and unhealthy living practices have reached epidemic proportions in the United States,” Quimby said. “Unless we as a nation place more emphasis on preventive health care as opposed to intervention, health care cost will continue to rise.”

She called for the development of successful preventative programming and marketing of healthy lifestyles, and bolstering health insurance to include preventative services.

Sweeney said that targeting sports fans who are extremely passionate when it comes to team affiliations, represents a significant opportunity for health policy makers to achieve a significant impact on the health and wellness of many people in this country.

“People in this country spend billions of dollars each year attending games, buying team-related merchandise, and following their teams through the various media,” he said. “Although previous studies have shown that die-hard sports fans are psychologically healthier than non-sports fans, this study is the first to examine the physical health risks associated with sport fandom. The results provide preliminary evidence to suggest that sports fans may be a perfect segment to which health prevention marketing efforts can be directed.”

He said sports teams and health providers might find ways to work together.

“Aside from being good public policy, potentially significant revenue generation opportunities exist for both sport organizations and providers of health prevention services through sponsorships and other business related relationship practices,” he said.

Excited about the possible practical implications that may stem from the findings, the research team said further research is necessary before the findings can be generalized to the American population in general.

“We are encouraged by the results. However, this study represents a preliminary investigation involving participants from our community,” Sweeney said. “Our intention is to seek funding so that we are able to further explore the link between team identification and various health measures nationally.”

 

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • An open line for Sunday

    An open line.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • City plans more spending on 30 Crossing

    The Little Rock City Board meets Tuesday to set an agenda for the following week and among the "consent" items is a new $175,000 with Nelson/Nygaard consultants to "assist with a comprehensive review" of the 30 Crossing project, otherwise known as the bigger concrete ditch the Department of Transportation wants to tear through the heart of Little Rock.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • NFL owners rise to defense of players against Trump and false patriots

    Many football team owners have risen to the defense of players against Donald Trump criticism as yet another racially fraught issue seems likely to gain increasing heat thanks to Trump's rhetoric.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation