This article examines the current state of research regarding the effect of spectator sport on population health. We conducted a scoping study that involved a comprehensive search of published and gray literature between 1990 and 2014, and identified 135 studies empirically examining the effect of spectator sport on population health. A frequency analysis shows that there is a paucity of studies on this topic published in sport management journals. A thematic analysis further reveals that the reviewed studies can be classified into nine research themes depicting the relationships among certain categories of spectator sport and population health. Based on this scoping study, we develop a framework and identify several gaps in the literature that should be addressed to advance our understanding of the relationship between spectator sport and population health.
Yuhei Inoue is with the School of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Brennan K. Berg is with the Kemmens Wilson School of Hospitality & Resort Management, University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee. Packianathan Chelladurai is with the School of Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management, Troy University, London, Ontario, Canada.