The Cowboys couldn't break the Broncos yesterday, despite what some are calling Tony Romo's career-best performance. No doubt you spent the afternoon glued to your television with a pile of pizza crusts building beneath your feet. Or maybe you were at your favorite sports bar eating nachos and burgers, or the Truck Yard munching sliders and tacos before you washed it all down with some Carnival Barker's ice cream.
Wherever you were, if you were watching football yesterday, chances are you were eating. And according to a study that links the outcomes of NFL games with the eating habits of the fans that watch them, you're about to eat some more.
Pierre Chandon, a professor of marketing at the business school INSEAD in France, collected data on the eating habits of football fans the day after they watched a game. His research determined that fans are more likely to soothe themselves with saturated fats (16 percent more) after a heartbreaking loss, and that total calorie consumption increases, too.
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On the other hand, had the Cowboys pulled off a win, Dallas' collective dining habits would have taken a turn for the better. Fans apparently feel better about themselves and indulge a more healthy diet when their teams send them back into the work week with a victory.
This isn't just about tortilla chips and cheese sauce, though. Chandon's study says heart attacks, domestic violence and aggressive driving increase after losses, too. What's worse for Dallas is that all these effects are amplified when the team loses at the hands of a bitter rival, and the Redskins are on the schedule next week.
Thankfully there's some positive news in the study you can use to prepare yourself. According to Chandon's data, positive affirmation counteracts the effects a big loss can have on your desire for cheese steaks. People in the study who turn to religion, family or other sources of emotional bolstering kept the subsequent fat fest to a minimum. Also thankfully, the Redskins are terrible.
So give a Cowboys friend a hug before you hand them a broccoli floret sometime today. Or, if you've somehow already given up on the season (and humanity), just send them this.