Football is back! We football fans are a die-hard bunch, having been in a state of withdrawal since the beginning of January. If you are anything like me, football season is one of the most beloved times of year. It can also be one of the most fattening, depending upon how much you care about a particular team.
According to new research, Mondays are not just for post-game analysis and playing Monday morning quarterback. On the Monday following a big Sunday football game, fans of the winning team are more likely to opt for healthier foods while fans of the losing team have a tendency to load up on saturated fats and sugars. And if your team loses at the last minute, by a narrow margin, or when they were expected to win easily, you are even more likely to take it out your waistline the next day.
People who live in cities with the victorious football team consumed about 9% less saturated fat than they would typically eat on a Monday. It is good news if you life in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, or Southern New York. However, people in cities with a losing football team will eat about 16% more saturated fat compared to their usual Monday food consumption. (My apologies go to the fine folks in Cleveland.)
What’s even more interesting is that the trends were particularly noticeable when a game came down to the wire. (I can only imagine what this does for us fantasy football junkies too.) While we may be biting our nails during game time, apparently we are taking the loss out on our bodies the next day.
The researchers hypothesized that when our favorite team loses, we feel a primal type of threat to our identity, and use eating as a coping mechanism. Winning, on the other hand, seems to provide a boost to people’s self control. Well, at least when it comes to food intake. When it comes to bragging? Let’s just say that researchers have yet to study that one.
We have yet to see which cities will have the healthier eaters this football season, so stay tuned. Remember the old saying about any given Sunday?
The bottom line is that if you live in an area with a losing team, try to be conscious of your food intake not just during those tailgate parties, but on Mondays too. After all, depending on where you live, it could be a very long season.