Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Health

Why Browns fans are fat: fans of losing sports teams eat unhealthy foods.

Seriously, Science?By Seriously ScienceAugust 20, 2013 9:00 PM
browns2-300x225.jpg

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Photo: flickr/David FreemanEven on a good day, watching sports doesn't lend itself to healthy eating habits. However, according to this study, the degree of impact on your diet depends on whether your team wins or loses. Fans whose teams lost, especially in a close game with an evenly matched team, were more likely to drown their sorrows in food. But fear not! Self-affirmation (e.g., telling yourself "This was just a fluke, the Cubs are still the greatest!") helped to counter this effect. From Fan to Fat? Vicarious Losing Increases Unhealthy Eating, but Self-Affirmation Is an Effective Remedy. "Using archival and experimental data, we showed that vicarious defeats experienced by fans when their favorite football team loses lead them to consume less healthy food. 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. These effects are greater in cities with the most committed fans, when the opponents are more evenly matched, and when the defeats are narrow. We found similar results when measuring the actual or intended food consumption of French soccer fans who had previously been asked to write about or watch highlights from victories or defeats of soccer teams. However, these unhealthy consequences of vicarious defeats disappear when supporters spontaneously self-affirm or are given the opportunity to do so."

fan-to-fat.png

Related content: NCBI ROFL: Sport fan identification in obituaries.

NCBI ROFL: Effects of university affiliation and "school spirit" on color preferences: Berkeley versus Stanford.

NCBI ROFL: The "Fan Can": innocent football fan fun, or menace to sober society?

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In