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On February 5, an estimated 188.9 million Americans will tune in to watch the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots compete for the coveted title of National Football League Champion. Some will do it for the genuine love of the game, others to watch the half-time show or commercials that are a spectacle in their own right. However, for most people, it is an opportunity to either host or attend a party and socialize with family and friends.

Given that 43 million parties attended by over 70 million guests take place on this day, it should come as no surprise that Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest food consumption days in the US, second only to Thanksgiving! The snacking will begin long before either football team arrives at Houston’s NRG Stadium, where the championship game will be played at 3:30 PM CT, and continue long after the 2017 NFL Champions have retired to celebrate their well-deserved victory. All in all, the average American will consume over 2,500 calories on Sunday.

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Statistics from the American Snack Food Foundation indicate that football fans will graze their way through 2 million pounds of potato chips, 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips, 3.8 million pounds of popcorn, 3 million pounds of nuts, along with 79 million avocados worth of guacamole.

When the real hunger pangs strike, Americans will turn to more substantial fare like pizza. Over 12.5 million pies, each costing an average of $25, will be consumed on Sunday. Pepperoni, apparently, is the topping of choice. Pizza Hut expects to top 80% of the pizzas sold with the beef/pork sausage, while Dominos anticipates 59% of its orders to be requested with the round nuggets.

World’s biggest commercially available pizza (Photo Credit: Big Mama’s and Big Papa’s Pizzeria)

Chicken wings are also very popular. The National Chicken Council Association estimates that Americans will chow down on 1.33 billion chicken wings this year. This is 2%, or 30 million more wings, than were consumed in 2016. To put it in perspective that is enough to circle the entire globe three times! Ribs, bacon, foot-long subs, hot dogs, and burgers round out the list of favorite Super Bowl Sunday food.

To wash it all down, adults will consume almost 52 million cases of beer, while kids and teetotalers will slurp down $2.37 million USD worth of soda. It is no wonder that Anheuser-Busch and Pepsi Cola are the game's biggest sponsors.

Photo Credit: via Flckr

All this food does not come cheap. The National Retail Foundation estimates that fans will spend an average of $75 USD, a little less than the record $82 USD, expended in 2016. While most of the money is spent on food and beverages, decorations and fan gear also get a substantial boost in sales. Additionally, electronics retailers report a sharp increase in sales in the days leading to the big game. All in all, Super Bowl Sunday adds over $15 billion USD to the American economy each year!

Anti-acid manufacturers are the unexpected beneficiaries of the over-indulgence. According to data released by the world’s largest convenience store chain, 7-Eleven, sales of the heartburn medication shoot up 20% on the Monday following the big game. Employers, unfortunately, get the short end of the stick, with over seven million workers calling in sick. Perhaps it is time for the country’s legislators to do something football fans have been pleading for years – declare Super Bowl Monday a national holiday!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Go Falcons! Go Patriots!