Going large on football

A timely tip to help you avoid losing and gaining pounds.

HERE’S a timely tip which should help you to avoid gaining pounds in weight and losing pounds in sterling – don’t watch the World Cup.

You will end up fatter and poorer if you do, warns Men’s Health magazine.

The statisticians have been at work (well, it gives them something to do) and they have come up with some amazing facts.

For example, the average British man will gain 2st 7lb by sitting on his sofa and watching every game of the World Cup in South Africa.

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Actually, he won’t put on the flab just by sitting there. To do it, each time he must consume four cans of strong lager, eat three slices of pepperoni pizza, nosh half a bag of chunky crisps and half a pot of dip.

Anyone thinking that all this going down the gullet over the course of 64 matches would add up to more than two-and-a-half stone would be right.

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But the clever clogs with the calculators factored in the amount of energy expended by soccer fans jumping up and down on their sofas with excitement or despair before coming to their conclusion.

Perhaps more worryingly, the researchers reckon that the cost of watching one match at home with four mates, based on snacks and drinks, is �26.87. Just think how much that would tot up to for the dedicated football fan over the course of the month-long campaign.

There is better news for those less dedicated who are only interested in watching England games. They face the prospect of putting on just over 3lb. That’s providing their team reach the final, so they are likely to gain less than that.

As a child I vividly remember Sir Billy Butlin appearing in TV advertisements promoting his holiday camps, probably trying to change their reputation for being regimented places where everyone was woken in the morning by a rise-and-shine announcement on the Tannoy, and organised games and knobbly knees contests filled the days until it was going home time.

For some reason, my family never went on a Butlins holiday, preferring instead to go it alone in a chalet among the sand dunes of Hemsby or booking a caravan in East Runton.

So my vague idea of what Butlins is all about has stayed with me. But now I have come to realise that it is much different than that, judging from a press release which arrived this week.

This was headed From Chalet To Chablis and was about Butlins launching its first fine wine list.

At three of its resorts the company is now offering the sort of stuff far removed from bottles of brown ale and schooners of sherry.

It includes a top Claret, Chateau Talbot 2004, at �65 a bottle and Krug Grand Cuvee Champagne at �120. A spokesman points out that the latter would normally cost �230 at one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants. Most of the wines are in the �24 to �34 bracket.

Even so, you won’t find me there quaffing the product of the vine. It would be cheaper to stay at home and watch a football match.

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