In this paper, we show that defeats by your favorite football (or soccer) team make you eat more and less healthy food, especially if they were narrow, unexpected, and against an opponent of the same strength. The flip side is that victories make us eat slightly better. Fortunately if you are rooting for a losing team, there is a simple solution if you want to eat healthily: After a defeat, reflect on what is important to you (maybe your family, God, or...another sport). This self-affirmation will eliminate the effects of the defeat.
Cornil, Yann and Pierre Chandon (2013) “From Fan to Fat? Vicarious Losing Increases Unhealthy Eating, but Self-Affirmation Is an Effective Remedy,” Psychological Science. Access the paper here.
Here are some mentions in the press:
- MinnPost (very detailed article)
- Chicago Tribune (editorial)
- Daily Mail
- Financial Times
- Discovery Channel
- The Scientist
- La Stampa (in Italian)
- La Vanguardia (in Spanish)
- La Presse (in French)
- Libération (in French)
- Milliyet (in Turkish)
Are you at risk of eating junk food after a defeat? Take the test and see if you are at risk of going from fan to fat!