Sunday, September 15, 2013
Study: If your football team loses, you’ll eat more calories tomorrow
Some better news: People whose teams won ate healthier the next day.
We take our football seriously here in the United States of America. When our favorite teams lose, we are bummed out. We’re angry. And, apparently, we’re hungry.
A recent study from INSEAD, a prestigious global business school based in France, found that “vicarious losing” leads to unhealthy eating. The study looked at cities with NFL teams, and tracked food consumption in those cities on days following their games. It found that when a team lost on Sunday, people in that city consumed more saturated fats (16 percent above baseline) and calories (10 percent) the following Monday than people in the with teams that won their games or didn’t play.
Not only that, people in the cities whose teams won actually ate healthier the next day, with saturated-fat and calorie consumption dipping 9 and 5 percent below baseline levels. So if your cousin in Denver or Atlanta got skinny last year, now you know why: 13 wins for the Broncos and Falcons.
Perhaps most interestingly, the study also found that you can avoid heading down the pain-eating NFL shame spiral if you do one simple thing: Engage in some self-affirmation. As INSEAD professor Pierre Chandon wrote on his blog: “After a defeat, reflect on what is important to you (maybe your family, God, or … another sport). This self-affirmation will eliminate the effects of the defeat.”
So next time the Cowboys lose, don’t reach for the doughnut and the Big Gulp, and instead try to think about what really matters. Probably good advice in general, eh?