Your interactive guide to how sports fans
will look in the
Meet Joe and Lisa, the future sports fans
Did you know that the average football fan consumes over 10,000 calories on matchdays? With swathes of alcohol, calorie laden pies, burgers and chips; matchdays can be pretty unhealthy affairs.
But it doesn't stop there.
Research from Brown University and Boston College found that fans whose team lost at sporting events carried on consuming large amounts of unhealthy foods days after their team lost as a coping mechanism.
Taking this information and more into consideration, we've created 3D models (Joe and Lisa) to show you up close and personal what following your favourite sports team could do to your physical appearance over the next few decades.
Warning, the results are not pretty.
Use the team colour and gender selector below to see how you could end up looking; we'll talk you through every change and the underlying causes. Simply hover over the yellow points you see, and we'll give you the science behind the shape shifting.
Sports fans are heavily invested in their teams results. Such emotional investment manifests itself in the form of stress pre, post and during games and this can take a toll on ones hairline over time. From Alopecia Areata to Telogen Effluvium, sustained stress can lead to the thinning and loss of hair if not treated. Combine this stress with the nutrient stripping effects of alcohol and a poor diet of processed foods, and the effects over time will be even more pronounced.
Obesity and Waistline
On game days, sports fans typically consume thousands of calories through alcoholic and sugary drinks, along with calorie dense foods such as meat pies and chips. Biology dictates that if you consume more calories than you're burning off, you will gain weight. Drinking alcoholic beverages like beers (which typically contain over 150 calories per serving) can lead to calorie overload and the body stores this excess fat around the midriff and chest area. Sports fans of teams who don't perform well on the pitch are even more susceptible to weight gain. Research published in the journal of Physiological Science found that saturated fat intake increased by 16% among sports fans whose team lost the previous weekend, compared to a 9% decrease among those whose teams won. Sports fans comfort eat when their team loses and gain weight.
Dead Butt Syndrome
Sitting down for long periods of time at games either at home or within stadiums can cause gluteus medius tendinopathy or 'dead butt' syndrome. A lack of exercise and too much sedentary behaviour results in your glutes losing muscle mass and shape and therefore not resembling a healty bottom. Squatting during games will ensure this problem sorts itself out.
Dark Circles and Bags Under the Eyes
Dedicated sports fans follow their team no matter what the time zone is. For some, this can mean staying up late or getting up very early - particularly when travel is involved for home and away matches. Combine these late nights and early starts with a busy work/life balance and dedicated sports fans will develop dark circles and 'bags' under the eyes from a consistent lack of sleep.
Rounded Shoulders and Hunchback
Being hunched over while watching games, checking scores on mobile devices and eating meals out of ones lap will all contribute to poor posture, leading to rounded shoulders and a hunched back.
Blotchy Skin and Unkemptness
Sports fans can show symptoms of depression when their team isn't performing. Others just seem to have poor personal hygiene and have to be reminded by their clubs to wash before games. (Telegraph article on personal hygiene.) Dermatitis neglecta is a skin condition caused by infrequent washing, leading to a build up of sebum, sweat and corneocytes. The appearance is dirty, blotchy and scaly skin which requires medical removal if not prevented by regular washing.
Swollen Legs and Ankles
Sitting or standing for extended periods of time causes a build of fluid in the lower leg and ankle, removing the differential shapes of the leg and ankle and the emergence of a single 'cankle'. As sports fans are stood and/or sat still for prolonged periods of time, they are very susceptible to his development over time.
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Healthy Habits for a Healthy Lifestyle
The above models have been devised with a team of medical researchers to show what could happen in worst-case scenarios. To avoid looking like Joe and Lisa, we recommend implementing the following lifestyle changes. These are:
- Consume a Healthy Diet. Limiting the amount of foods and drinks high in calories, saturated fats, sugar and salt is a great place to start. On game days, eating porridge for breakfast will provide slow release energy throughout the day reducing hunger levels and therefore calories consumed. The ingredients of milk and oats will provide nutrients of Magnesium, Zinc, Calcium, and B Vitamins: all beneficial for bones, hair and skin.
- Exercise and Move About. If you've noticed you've been sat down for an extended period of time, stand up and move around to increase circulation, reduce swelling and ward off the effects of the dreaded 'dead butt syndrome'. Exercising has been found to release endorphins, which makes you feel better even after a loss!
- Avoid Social Media After a Loss. The modern game can be cruel. Rival fans taunting and jeering your team's loss can extend periods of low mood which have been found to correlate with increased calorie intake. Avoid social media to improve your mental health and remember, as a fan, there was no way you could have influenced the result.
- Check your Posture. If you are noticing you're sitting in a hunched position or are stood in a way that is putting increased pressure on your joints, change it up to avoid long term changes in physical appearance.
- Go to Bed at a Reasonable Time, Relative to When you Wake up. Not everyone is an early riser, and some prefer going to bed later than others. But going to bed late and getting up early is never a good idea particularly long term. If a match is on early in the morning, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to rest and if a match is on late, ensure you have no commitments the next morning so you can have a lie in.