Matchday Calories: The NBA’s Biggest Comfort Eaters

  • A new report from Bookmakers reveals how many calories NBA fans consume on game day, depending on their team’s win-loss record.
  • The Orlando Magic’s on-field performances over the last five years have prompted fans to potentially consume 75,060 extra calories than the American average.
  • Golden State Warriors fans consumed 6,120 more calories across all game days than the average American, even with their stellar performances.

The NBA is the top professional league in the United States for basketball and, subsequently, the highest standard of the sport in the world, amassing millions of fans both at home and abroad. Check out the richest NBA teams in the world, and the richest NBA players.

While team performance undoubtedly has a significant effect on supporters’ moods, have you ever wondered how results might affect their eating habits?

A new report from reveals how the on-field performances of all current NBA teams have influenced fans’ calorie consumption.

Through the utilization of findings from Cornil and Chandon’s (20131) academic paper, ‘From Fan to Fat’, has highlighted the NBA’s biggest comfort eaters.

To understand the data, the average adult in America eats around 3,6002 calories a day. Using the Orlando Magic as an example, this means each fan, over the course of the last five years, has consumed on average 1,620,000kcal during NBA game days (450 games played x 3,600 calories each day).

This number (1,620,000kcal) acts as the comparison point for revealing the calorie change and percentage change for the team – an example of the working can be found in the methodology below.

The Orlando Magic is at the Top of the Table!

With the research suggesting that fans are more likely to overeat when their team loses (10% increase), it’s not good news for Orlando Magic and New York Knicks fans.

With some of the worst records in the NBA, both sets of fans were likely consuming more game day calories than any other team – over 4.4% more than the national average, in fact. This equates to around 70,000 additional calories over the course of the last few seasons.

The research also reveals that fans are inclined to cut out calories by 5% after their team wins. This means Golden State Warriors fans experienced the healthiest game day calorie count.

Even with an impressive record over the last five years, Golden State Warriors fans, on average, have each eaten 6,120 (0.3%) more calories than the typical American.

The table below shows each NBA team in order of greatest calorie % change vs. average:

RankTeamW-L-DCalorie Change vs. AverageCalorie % Change vs. Average
2New York163-275-0696604.42%
9New Orleans199-247-0531003.31%
16Okla City231-229-0408602.47%
17LA Lakers235-231-0408602.44%
20San Antonio251-216-0325801.94%
25LA Clippers284-201-0212401.22%
30Golden State318-176-061200.34%

Further information and the results of other leagues around the world can be found on-site here:


  1. *Cornil, Y. and Chandon, P., 2013. From fan to fat? Vicarious losing increases unhealthy eating, but self-affirmation is an effective remedy. Psychological science, 24(10), pp.1936-1946.

Related: The NBA – True underdog story


For this campaign, we looked to identify which sports fans have consumed the most additional calories based on their team’s performances over the last five years.

To figure this out, findings from Cornil and Chandon’s (2013) academic paper ‘From Fat to Fan’ were utilized. The study concludes that, after a loss, fans ate 10% more calories than usual. However, after a win, fans consumed 5% fewer calories.

Based on these findings, win/loss records for each team were acquired from the last five years and the below calculations were made.

To establish each fanbase’s calorie consumption in relation to the average person, we first determined the average daily calorie intake of a typical adult: 3,600kcals a day.

This figure was then multiplied by the number of games played over the last five years, to reveal ‘Average Game Day Calories’.

For example Orlando Magic

  • 450 Games x 3,600kcals = 1,620,000 Average Game Day Calories

Understanding that losing = a 10% increase (3,960kcals) and winning = a 5% decrease (3,420kcals) in calorie consumption, the number of wins and losses per team were multiplied by these figures and combined, to reveal the total calories consumed by the average fan of that particular team.

For example Orlando Magic

  • 3,420kcals x 161 wins = 550,620kcals
  • 3,960kcals x 289 losses = 1,144,440kcals
  • 3,600kcals x 0 draws = 0kcals

‘Total Game Day Calories’ consumed over 5 seasons for an Orlando Magic fan:

  • 550,620kcals + 1,144,440kcals + 0kcals = 1,695,060 Total Game Day Calories

The ‘Average Game Day Calories’ were then subtracted from ‘Total Game Day Calories’ to reveal the overall calorie difference.

For example Orlando Magic

  • 1,695,060kcals – 1,620,000kcals = 75,060 additional calories consumed (4.63% above the average game day consumption).

Related: Matchday Calories – NFL comfort eaters

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