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UAB Psychologist Warns Fans of 'Football Addiction'

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- A psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham says there is a fine line between a dedicated fan and a football addict when it comes to following one of America's most popular sports.

With the football season in full swing, researchers at the UAB School of Public Health say fans need to be careful of crossing the fine line between fandom and obsession. In a university news release, Dr. Josh Klapow warns that football obsession can threaten people's relationships and quality of life.

"It's not how much time you spend watching football that matters, it's whether or not that is causing negative behaviors in your life. Whether it's 10 hours per week or 40, the issue is its effect on your real-life obligations," said Klapow.

Klapow outlined several indicators that can help fans identify a potential problem. According to Klapow, behaviors such as thinking about football while doing other things, becoming irritated when a game is interrupted, missing important family or other events to watch a game, and becoming depressed, angry or violent when a certain team loses are all signs that someone has become addicted.

Klapow encourages fans to keep a weekly log of time spent watching or following sports to monitor whether or not one is becoming addicted to that sport.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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    UAB Psychologist Warns Fans of 'Football

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