Just in time for the start of the 2013 NFL season, recent research suggests NFL fans are more likely to eat unhealthy foods when their favorite teams lose.
Here's an excerpt from the findings, which were published in Psychological Science:
On the Mondays following a Sunday National Football League (NFL) game, saturated-fat and food-calorie intake increase significantly in cities with losing teams, decrease in cities with winning teams, and remain at their usual levels in comparable cities without an NFL team or with an NFL team that did not play.
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These effects are greater in cities with the most committed fans, when the opponents are more evenly matched, and when the defeats are narrow.
So, are fans of losing teams destined to also lose the battle of the bulge? Hardly. The study's authors point to self-affirmation as a way to avoid succumbing to the lure of fast foods.
In other words, repeat after me: "It's just a game. It's just a game. It's just a game."