Stadium Food and You

I think we can all agree that some of the unhealthiest foods are found at sporting events; take Baseball’s Worst Burger for example. But amidst a roster of hotdogs, burgers, cotton candy, and nachos, are their any healthy options? Charles Stuart Platkin of The Seattle Times takes a look.

Platkin starts off by rounding up a list of the usual suspects; foods like peanuts, Cracker Jack, pizza, French fries, beer, chicken tenders, fruit cups, etc. Then he compares groups of them to determine what the best low-calorie option would be—as if calorie content is the only important factor. Here’s an example:
Hot dog vs. pizza vs. sausage and peppers
A regular hot dog with mustard is your best bet, totaling about 290 calories: 180 for the 2-ounce dog, 110 for the bun and virtually no calories for regular yellow mustard. Sauerkraut adds another 5-10 calories (2 tablespoons), ketchup adds 30 (2 tablespoons) and relish another 40 (2 tablespoons). Just be aware of the foot-long hotdogs sold at many stadiums, which can have double the calories in both frankfurter and bun, bringing the grand total to 580 without any toppings. Pizza at the stadium is a bit larger than a typical slice, about one-sixth of a 16-inch pie (rather than one-eighth), which comes to 435 calories per slice. And the sausage-and-pepper sandwich is about the same — 430 calories for 5 ounces, including the bun.
Okay, so maybe using Platkin's logic a singular hotdog is "better" than pizza or a sausage and pepper sandwich, but if I had to choose, I’d skip all three! Let me put on my Eating to Live on the Outside hat for the remainder of this post.


Of all the food selections referenced in Platkin's piece I’d only order the healthiest ones, regardless of their calorie content. I don’t care if peanuts are high in calories. At least they have some nutrition. I’d sooner eat an entire bag of them before I'd indulge on greasy chicken tenders or cheesy nachos. I think in this situation it’s less about choosing the better of two horrible foods, and more about making the best choice overall. What do you think?

To Platkin’s credit he does offer up some good tips to help you limit your intake of unhealthy stadium food, like eating before you head off to game. That seems like the smartest idea to me.
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