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article imageJunk food sales rise when peoples' favorite NFL team loses

By Tim Sandle     Aug 24, 2013 in Sports
Consumption of junk food rises in home towns on the day, and the day after, when the local National Football League (NFL) team loses a game.
Researchers have shown in a study that junk food eating in a given city spikes on days following a loss for its NFL team, according to Medical News Today.
To show the link between certain types of food consumption and sports results, scientists collected diet information from 726 people on game day Sundays and the following two days. The Daily Dose recounts that in the cities where the local team experienced a loss, people reported eating 16 percent more saturated fat and 10 percent more calories on Monday than they did the day before.
In contrast, people living in winning-team cities reported eating 9 percent less saturated fat and 5 percent fewer calories on Monday than they did on game day. Whereas in cities without an NFL team or where the home team didn't play, there were no significant dietary changes between Sunday and Monday.
The authors of the study argue that when someone's favorite team loses, people see this as a threat to their self-worth and eat comfort food to cope. This study follows in a long-line of other sports related research. Cardiac deaths (tied to Super Bowl outcomes), fatal traffic accidents, and domestic violence have all been tied to football losses.
The effect is not just for the U.S. The same science team 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.
The findings have been published in the journal Psychological Science .
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