If your team goes 0-12, you’re in one great big hunkin’ heap of heart trouble and you’re going to turn into a great big hunkin’ tub o’ lard, if this story published by WebMD is accurate.
Wonder what was the aggregate weight gain by Penn State fans after last week’s loss to UCF?
The study seemed to focus on NFL fans, along with French soccer fans. Maybe there’s hope.
“Past research shows that when people are feeling down, they tend to consume comfort foods in order to feel better,” said Yann Cornil, a Ph.D. candidate at the graduate business school INSEAD in Singapore.
In the case of sports, Cornil said, fans can take the team defeat as a “personal defeat” and threat to their self-esteem. On the other hand, fans of the winning team get a morale boost — and may opt for healthier food.
Cornil and colleague Pierre Chandon found evidence of that in the first part of their study. Using data from Americans who took part in a nutrition study, they looked at how people’s eating habits shifted when their city’s National Football League team won or lost.
They found that on the Monday after a team loss, people ate 10 percent more calories and 16 percent more saturated fat, compared to their typical habits. In contrast, they ate slightly fewer calories and less saturated fat on the Monday after an NFL victory.
There were no such Monday fluctuations among people who lived in cities without an NFL team, the researchers reported in a recent online issue of the journal Psychological Science.
How does this comfort consumption comport with your personal experience in the wake of tragic losses? If you clam up, I’m calling your cardiologists.