Your Team’s Loss is Your Body’s Gain

Did you know that when a sports team you are rooting for loses a game, you are more likely to eat unhealthy foods? This New York Times article discusses a recent study from the journal Psychological Science that found that people ate more saturated fats and sugars when their teams lost, or were in the process of losing, than fans whose teams were victorious.

The rationale is fairly straight-forward: fans of losing teams felt more tension, stress, and anxiety over the loss, and ate more unhealthy foods to compensate. While a loss triggered an emotional desire to eat, a victory did the opposite. Often, fans of victorious teams were empowered to abstain from consuming fatty and sugary foods, citing increased feelings of strength, and a greater ability to resist temptation.

The study took 726 individual 14-day food diaries kept during the 2004 and 2005 NFL regular seasons. These numbers, from NDP Group’s National Eating Trends database, found that Mondays held the greatest potential for excessive eating. Researchers found that saturated fat consumption among football fans increased by as much as 28 percent after defeats, and decreased by 16 percent after victories.

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