The NHS has just completed a survey of English Premier League fans. The online analysis was completed by over 25,000 fans from across the country, and its findings are not kind...
With many EPL teams based in areas where men die prematurely, the National Health Service decided to try and educate these fans by setting up an online questionnaire for them to fill out.
In a gentle way the questionnaire probed for fitness, eating and alcohol consumption type trends. When the survey was finished all the data was compiled into a football league of fitness, or obese levels as you'll see.
For the vast majority of the London based teams, the news was good. Unless you frequent Craven Cottage of a regular Saturday afternoon, that is, 49 percent of Fulham's fans are overweight and they finished in the lowest position for London and are the un-healthiest team of fans in the EPL.
Given Fulham's poor results lately it comes as no surprise to find that 37 percent of their fans exceeding the daily recommended allowance of alcohol. Add that to the news that Fulham's fans are also top of the London smoking league, 33 percent of fans, and you might come to the conclusion that if some habits aren't changed rapidly then there might be a few season tickets being freed up next season...
With Spurs being one of the most exciting teams to watch anywhere this season, one would have thought that their fans would have had much to celebrate. Maybe perhaps too much! Harry Redknapp's side comes in as EPL Champions when it comes to alcohol consumption.
A whopping 85 percent of Tottenham fans drink over the daily limit. If they're drinking that much when they're doing well, God only knows how much they were drinking two years ago before Harry Redknapp took over.
Although that news was somewhat tempered by the fact that 77 percent of Spurs fans are non-smokers.
On average, Spurs fans are the healthiest across the EPL when activity, BMI, smoking, alcohol and diet are taken into account.
The EPL Fitness Table:
- Tottenham Hotspur
- West Brom
- Aston Villa
- Manchester City
- Blackburn Rovers
- Manchester United
- Birmingham City
- Stoke City
- Wigan Athletic
- West Ham
Liverpool finds itself in the relegation both on and off the pitch. Although the Reds fans can take something from finishing top of the EPL's most beautiful fans in 2008!
Football is easily the most watched sport in Britain today. Unfortunately, many fans don't play any sport never mind football itself. For far too many the past time is given up in their teens and not carried over into the twenties where healthy habits are created that last a lifetime, literally.
It costs the NHS around £4.2 billion a year to treat diseases in men caused by excessive weight. If the government body can convince this large section of society to change its habits towards a healthier lifestyle then there would be a substantial saving for the economy.
To put it another way: The NHS spend more money treating fat men than the Irish government spends on its entire economy of 4.5 million people in one year.
It also brings into question the fact that the vast majority of football fans don't even play the sport they support.
The EPL Obesity Table: Percentage of Fans Who are Over-Weight
- Sunderland 51.3
- Everton 51.1
- Wigan 48.2
- Manchester City 47.3
- Fulham 47.1
- Blackburn 45
- West Ham 45
- Bolton 44.9
- Wolves 44.9
- Tottenham Hotspur 44.9
- West Brom 44.6
- Aston Villa 43.2
- Stoke City 42.1
- Birmingham 41.5
- Liverpool 40.5
- Newcastle 40.3
- Chelsea 38.4
- Manchester United 36.3
- Arsenal 36.3
- Blackpool 30.3
A strange statistic that came out from the survey is that Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal all find themselves in the bottom five of obese fans.
There was no age section in the NHS survey, but it is well known that the big four have the youngest fans in the league. One of the benefits of being successful.
This is a simple survey that may go someway towards changing the unhealthy habits of one of the largest sections of society, and that can't be a bad thing.
This article was previously featured on Tiger Beer Football, where Willie Gannon is the featured Blogger. Over 18s only.