According to Study, That Awful Football Team You Love Is Making You Fat

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterSeptember 5, 2013

Oct 28, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; A New York Jets fan watches the game during the second half at MetLIfe Stadium. The Dolphins defeated the Jets 30-9.  Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

NFL fans hoping to keep slim and watch their figure might want to choose their loyalties carefully, because a recent study proclaims losing teams are making their fans fat. 

Thanks, Browns. 

The Chicago Tribune (h/t For the Win) spoke with Professor Pierre Chandon of the INSEAD business school on his recent study with doctoral student Yann Cornil that was published in the Psychological Science journal

You may have heard of the freshman 15, which is the weight packed during a student's first year in college. Well, Chandon would like you to meet the football 15. 

Unfortunately, Chandon doesn't quantify how much weight a fan might gain by following a losing team, merely that there is a very real propensity to eat horribly following losses during the season. 

One day after a defeat, Americans eat 16 percent more saturated fat, and 10 percent more calories. But on the day after a victory of their favorite team, then it's the opposite. They eat more healthily. They eat 9 percent less saturated fat, and 5 percent fewer calories. There was no effect in cities without a team or with a team that didn't play.

When your team wins that big Sunday Night Football game, there is a skip in your step and a smile on your face. Sure, I'll have a chicken salad for lunch!

Or so the theory goes. 

When your team drops another game and the season inches toward the dumps, you drag your feet into work as a storm cloud hovers above your head. Looks like it's a bacon double cheeseburger for lunch and chili fires. It's not like any of this matters anyway

Then again, this might be the same self-medicating we larger folk are fond of—junk food just makes the awful far more tolerable. If you want to dig further, you can read more on Chandon's blog

As if this story couldn't get any more dire, researchers found the same results after French soccer games, so the ballooning of depressed fans isn't relegated to the NFL. 

But now you have an arsenal of knowledge at your disposal this season. Anyone currently headed to the Black Hole or preparing their Jaguars replica jersey might want to realize what they are doing on Monday morning and eat a salad. 

Back away from the drive-through and throw down that delicious chicken wing.

You can win this battle—even if your favorite team can't seem to win anything.


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