What People Eat on Big Game Sunday

Brandi Newell
by Brandi Newell
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What People Eat on Big Game Sunday

Pizza, and beer, and wings…oh my! While Super Bowl Sunday centers around football, this food fan’s favorite part is undoubtedly the snacks. Looking into the MyFitnessPal database, it’s clear that our members are up for a few sporty splurges as well. Huddle up team, here’s an inside look at game day gastronomy.

Super Bowl Sunday is the peak day of the year for many popular junk foods.


There’s no denying it, Super Bowl Sunday is a junk-foodie’s paradise. Last year, Super Bowl Sunday was the biggest pizza day of the year, with consumption up 67% from average. It was also the biggest day of the year for tortilla chips and wings. While that’s not altogether surprising, we were shocked by how big of jump these snacks saw: tortilla chips were up 200% and wings were up a whopping 327% from average. I think it’s fair to say that if this were a competition, wings would be the Snack Bowl champions, or at least the MVP.

It’s a huge day for beer, too. Up 90% from average, it clocked in as the second biggest beer day of 2014 (right after July 4th).

Pizza and beer go together like peanut butter and jelly.

You may have noticed from the graph above that all of the snacks seem to move up and down together. Why, you ask? Weekends, I answer. Consumption of every junk food we examined climbed steeply every Friday, only to fall off every Monday, as weekday decorum returned.

The patterns for pizza and beer, in particular, were especially similar. In fact that over the course of 2014, they were correlated at r = .85. For those of you following along at home — that’s crazy high! In other words, if you ate pizza, you probably washed it down with a beer.


Though it’s fascinating that pizza and beer are so frequently consumed as a pair — as shown by how tightly the dots are clustered around the trendline in the plot above — it’s also fun to look at the times where they aren’t eaten together — places where the dots fall far from the trend line.

So, when are people eating lots of pizza without beer? Halloween. It’s a quick way to feed the fam before or after trick or treating, but this kid-friendly holiday is no time to be boozing it up. Indeed, Halloween is the second biggest pizza day of the year, while beer consumption is closer to average.

How about the opposite — when are people drinking lots of beer but not pairing it with pizza? July 4th and Thanksgiving. On July 4th, the biggest beer day of the year, the average-ish consumption of pizza just can’t keep up. On Thanksgiving, people are still drinking beer at average rates, but pizza is at the lowest point of the year — no one’s opting for pizza when there’s a phenomenal feast on display.

If all this snack talk has made you hungry, check out these 15 Favorite Game Day Food Recipes, which are all under 300 calories!

Methodology: All data reported here are in terms of percentage of foods logged on MyFitnessPal. For example, we counted up how many food entries on Super Bowl Sunday last year contained the word “pizza” and divided that by the overall number of food entries for that day. Voila! You have a measure of how popular that food was, relative to all of the other foods logged on that day. All data used was de-identified and completely anonymous.

About the Author

Brandi Newell
Brandi Newell

Brandi Newell is the Manager of Research and Insights at MyFitnessPal. She uses qualitative and quantitative methods to help understand what people want and need to live healthier lives. Her background includes a master’s degree in Psychology and Neuroscience from Harvard University and unseemly amounts of cooking, hiking, and yoga.


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