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Seahawks' Win = Less Junk Food?
Apparently, disappointed sports fans eat more fat after their team loses (sorry, San Francisco!), while fans of the winning team opt for healthier foods, according to recent research in Psychological Science.
Researchers Yann Cornil and Pierre Chandon of INSEAD Business School looked at two seasons of National Football League games, comparing people’s food consumption in more than two dozen cities.
On the Monday after a football game, they found that people in cities with a losing football team ate about 16 percent more saturated fat compared to their usual Monday consumption. People in cities with a winning team ate about 9 percent less saturated fat compared to usual. That’s a 25% gap. The findings were corroborated by an experiment involving sports fans in France.
Why do fans of losing teams binge on junk—especially if it’s an unexpected upset?
It’s because losing threatens identity, researchers hypothesize. The day after a loss, fans use eating to cope. Conversely, winning seems to boost fans’ self-control.
But hey, San Francisco and Denver, even if you live in a city with a losing team, you needn’t clog your arteries.
Here’s a tip from Cornil: After a defeat, write down what is really important to you in life. In studies, this simple "self affirmation" technique completely eliminated the effects of defeats.
What are your favorite healthy Super Bowl Sunday recipes? Please share by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll feature the best recipes on Wellbody Blog next week and award a prize.