NFL fans aren't regarded as the thinnest, most fit sports contingent on the planet. But maybe we should start inspecting the waistlines of consistently winners.
A new study shows that fans whose teams win more tend to eat better. Conversely, those fans who suffer losses tend to eat higher-fat, less-healthy foods after those games. Researchers at the business school INSEAD in France came to these conclusions after tracking the eating behavior of fans in NFL cities and measured the effects of their eating after victories and defeats.
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Turns out, there's a disparity between the two. Sound like a bunch of bologna? Here are some of the numbers, according to NPR:
• After a defeat, the researchers found that saturated fat consumption went up by 16 percent, while after a victory it decreased by 9 percent.
• Overall calorie consumption went up by 10 percent after losses, and down by 5 percent after wins.
• In one part of their study, the researchers found that asking people to remember terrible sports defeats had even bigger effects on what they ate — defeats lead to a 45 percent increase in saturated fat consumption.
"When your ego is shattered you really think about instant gratification – you want to feel better now," said Pierre Chandon, a professor of marketing at INSEAD.
"So, in those cities, people are even more responsive to the wining or the losing of the football team," says Chandon.
It makes sense. When people are depressed, they aim to soothe their pain, and food — or alcohol — can be the means to that end. In addition, the research team found that rates were even higher among the truly devoted, devout fans — the Packers, Steelers, Eagles and so on.
After a loss, it turns out that people in those cities eat 28 percent more saturated fat, whereas a victory meant that they tended to eat 16 percent less saturated fat on average.
Perhaps it's not the best time to mention that the Steelers are 0-2, the Eagles are 1-2 and the Packers also could match that 1-2 mark after this weekend. At least the local burger joints should thrive if that happens.