A group of experts found that Super Bowl fans tend to eat worse if their team loses even if it’s about a close game. On the other hand, people whose favorite football team wins tend to eat healthier foods the day after the game.
Experts believe that Super Bowl fans are emotionally linked with their favorite teams since they strongly identify themselves with them. So if a team loses, it is like the fan loses. So, there’s the need for comfort food to make them feel better, even if it’s just for a few moments.
Past studies also found that cardiovascular incidents among football fans also increase after their team loses the game. In the wake of major defeats, fans also tend to be involved in more car crashes, domestic violence episodes, and other alcohol-related incidents, studies revealed.
But the latest research focused on how the outcome of Super Bowl affects Americans’ short-term diet-related decisions. The study involved nearly 700 households monitored before and after two NFL seasons.
Participants were asked about their food patterns by NPD Food World investigators. About 38 percent of participants involved in the survey were men from urban areas. Volunteers were asked to keep a food diary during a NFL season for 14 straight days. The move was repeated the next year.
The research team assumed that survey participants had as favorite football team the major team supported by their city. Next, researchers analyzed the data on the food consumed the day after the Sunday Super Bowl game and compared that data with the food participants eat on a regular Monday.
There was also a control group of people that lived in areas that did not have a NFL team or their NFL team didn’t participate in that Super Bowl edition.
The data revealed that on the Mondays following a Super Bowl game people’s calorie intake rose 10 percent while saturated fat intake jumped 16 percent. Unhealthy foods such as fast-foods are usually laden in cancer-causing, cholesterol-boosting saturated fats.
But people ate the worst after a major defeat in cities filled with die-hard NFL fans. In cities such as Pittsburgh and Green Bay, saturated fat intake skyrocketed 28 percent after their favorite NFL team lost the game. And if the defeat was a close one, fans tended to eat even worse.
On the other hand, wins had a positive effect. Researchers found that supporters of winning teams ate 5 percent less calories and 10 percent less harmful fats.
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