Study Shows Fans of Losing Sports Teams Indulge Sorrows in Junk Food

Anna Fleet
by Anna Fleet | October 4, 2013 @ 10:09 am | 0 

What did you do when the Toronto Maple Leafs blew their huge lead against the Boston Bruins in game 7 of the playoffs last year? How about when the Buffalo Bills lost against Cleveland last night?  Did you just go to bed dreaming of next year’s (or next game’s) chances or did you indulge your sorrows in a plate of fully-loaded nachos—with bacon of course?!

A study published in Psychological Science journal has linked fans of sports teams who lose to a tendency to indulge in a little too much junk food the day following a big game loss. The study, conducted at the INSEAD Business School in Fontaineblue, France, scrutinized two seasons of National Football League (NFL) games associated with fan food consumption.

Researchers asked French participants to write about their favorite sports team’s loss while being offered chips, candy, grapes, or tomatoes. They also asked the participants to write about their favorite sports team’s win under the same conditions.

Their findings revealed that those fans of losing sports teams sought out more comfort food on the Monday following a Sunday game loss. Versus, fans of wining sports teams who opted to snack on the healthier options (i.e., grapes and tomatoes).  In fact, fans of losing teams consumed 16-percent more saturated fat and 10 percent more total calories; whereas fans in cities with winning football teams consumed 8-percent less saturated fat and 5-percent fewer total calories compared to their usual Monday food intake.

One of the study authors, Pierre Chandon, points out that disappointment obviously influences unhealthy eating.

“Overall, what this shows is that the environment, [in this case] who wins, who loses, influences a lot of our food decisions without us being aware,” he says. “And we’re much less under control over eating as we’d like to believe [when it comes to]…the food marketing in place where you live.”

Source: CBC News