Rugby may be making fans fat

By Abby Gillies

Beer, hot chips and pies have become part of many All Blacks fans' viewing rituals, but it will take more than cheering from the sidelines to burn off the calories from the high-fat foods. Photo / Thinkstock
Beer, hot chips and pies have become part of many All Blacks fans' viewing rituals, but it will take more than cheering from the sidelines to burn off the calories from the high-fat foods. Photo / Thinkstock

All Blacks fans are being warned that supporting their team through the tournament may be leaving them with an unwanted souvenir - extra kilos.

While the boys in black have been exhausting energy on the field, some fans snacking on high-calorie foods while watching the games may have been piling on the pounds, according to weight-loss company Jenny Craig.

Beer, hot chips and pies have become part of many fans' viewing rituals, but it will take a lot more than cheering from the sidelines to burn off the calories from the high-fat foods.

A few beers, a steak and cheese pie and a chocolate bar totalled about 4000 kilojoules, said consultant Natalie Russell, who helped former All Black Buck Shelford lose 20kg to return to the same weight he was as All Blacks captain in the 1980s.

That means a 75kg person would have to play rugby for 32 minutes to burn off the calories of the pie alone, said Ms Russell.

"Whether you're enjoying the 2011 Rugby World Cup tournament at the game, one of the fan zones, a sports bar or at home with family and friends, it's likely there will be an abundance of snack food and refreshments on offer to tempt you," she said.

She offered rugby fans some tips to avoid overindulging including, drinking water before you go out, offering to be the designated driver to avoid drinking alcohol, sharing meals or snacks to reduce kilojoule intake, and if watching the game at a friend's house - take healthy snacks such as salsa and low-fat crackers.

Treat foods in moderation can fit in with a healthy and balanced lifestyle, but if you overindulged in high-calorie foods you were likely to notice a difference in the way you look and feel, said Ms Russell.

Kilojoules found in snack foods and the amount of time it would take to burn off the energy playing rugby for a 75kg person.

Food ItemKilojoules (kJ)Minutes playing rugby

Hot chips (150g) 1880 (450cal)36 minutes

Steak and cheese pie (170g)1635 (391cal)32 minutes

Chocolate Bar (58g)1087 (260cal)21 minutes

Ready salted potato chips (40g)895 (214cal) 18 minutes

Can of beer (330ml)580 (139cal)11 minutes

- Source: Jenny Craig

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