Sarah Kliff, writing at WonkBlog at the Washington Post, reports on some scientific findings about the Super Bowl. They've even studied the snacks.
Bowl size: " Big bowls of snacks, it turns out, will likely lead to higher calorie consumption. Cornell University’s Brian Wansink ran a study in 2005 in which he had undergraduates eat snacks under two different conditions: one where the same amount of pretzel mix was in one big bowl and another where it was served in two smaller containers. He found that the students ate 56 percent more — 142 extra calories — when there was one big bowl of snack mix."
The deadly ride home:
The New England Journal of Medicine recently found a 41 percent increase in traffic fatalities in the hours after the Super Bowl broadcast, compared with other Sunday nights. “The increase in fatalities after the telecast was evident for 21 of 27 years and amounted to about seven added deaths on the average Super Bowl Sunday as compared with the average control Sunday,” University of Toronto’s Donald Redelmeier writes.
This actually exceeds the increase in traffic fatalities that is usually seen on New Year’s Eve. One small silver lining: Redelmeier observed a small drop in traffic deaths during the actual broadcast of the game, presumably due to fewer cars on the road. ...Kliff, WaPo
The Washington Post also has something much more troubling than the suicidal mission of Super Bowl enthusiasts: the connection between the Bowl and our militarism. Not all of us are on board with that militarism, not by far. However, Post editors write, "still others may end up cheering the military whether they want to or not because sporting rituals now conflate it with athletics."
After all, it was hard to tell whether Fighting Irish and Crimson Tide fans were celebrating the arrival of the game ball or the paratroopers who delivered it. Likewise, when the San Diego Padres take the field on Sundays dressed in camouflage jerseys, are fans rooting for their home team or the military that inspired its outfits?
This militarized pageantry seems here to stay — sports franchises benefit too much from the cheap thrills and public relations opportunities it affords. The military covers the costs of flyovers and paratroopers by logging those events as training exercises, and it hopes the theatrics will result in recruitment boosts. ...WaPo
That taxpayer-funded tradition of flyovers is troubling. But not to those who support war at any cost and, gruesome though that may sound, it's true of a lot of Americans. Who, though they're part of a nation that was "founded on rebellion," can behave pretty nastily towards athletes who step back from loud shows of "patriotism."
By refusing to participate in patriotic gimmickry because of their objections to U.S. policy, these athletes were exercising their constitutional right to dissent. Still, their teams, leagues and crowds tried to silence them. That’s their right, too, of course. But somehow, a country founded on rebellion finds not standing for an anthem or saluting a flag un-American. ...WaPo
Well, no one ever said we're just trying to put an end to war. Or did they?
Maybe those Super Bowl snacks are doing it for us.
John Shalikashvili and Hugh Shelton, both former chairmen of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in the Washington Post that, “Obesity rates threaten the overall health of America and the future strength of our military. We consider this problem so serious from a national security perspective that we have joined more than 130 other retired generals, admirals and senior military leaders in calling on Congress to pass new child nutrition legislation.”...care2.com