August 31st, 2013| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


We’ve finally got it figured out. No wonder [Dallas Cowboys*] fans’ waistlines are growing. Yup, we’ve got the answer.

[*Insert the name of your favorite losing team here.]

Yes, if you are a supporter of a losing team, watch out. Your waistline’s growing even as we speak.

A recent study published in Psychological Science compared the outcomes from two seasons’ worth of NFL games with people’s food consumption in over two dozen cities. When a sports team loses, its fans eat 16% more saturated fats than they otherwise would have done. On the other hand, fans of the winning teams ate 9% less saturated fat.

The study followed an NFL team, the Minnesota Vikings (rated 17 out of 32 in ESPN’s Power Rankings; Cowboys sunk to #20 this week). Apparently a deep attachment to your team is the trigger. If they lose, you go on a food binge!

(And if they win? You become anorexic?)

At least one Vikings fan doesn’t buy it: “I don’t know,” said Steven Hanson. “The Vikings lost a lot last year and I actually stayed the same weight, so I don’t know if I actually believe it.”

In any case, these depressed fans, it seems, comfort themselves with fatty food and sweets. Both men and women are implicated in the study.

(BTW, sports losses have also been linked to increases in domestic violence. A National Institutes of Health study showed that 911 calls also increase by 10% in a city whose favorite team loses a game.)

The researchers speculation is that when a favored team loses, people feel an identity threat and are more likely to use eating as a coping mechanism. Winning, though, seems to provide a boost to people’s self-control.

Another Vikings fan agreed with these assessments, confessing that he was guilty. “You love them so much you hate to see them lose, so it makes you depressed a little bit,” declared Terry Christon. “So, you get an extra bowl of ice cream and an extra cold beer. I think it’s true.”

Another said that losing fans were doing more drinking watching the game, “because you are in so much pain.”

The lead authors of the study had a solution for this weight-gain malaise.

(If you thought the solution was “Choose a winning team,” you’d be wrong.)

They suggest: “After a defeat, write down what is really important to you in life.” In our studies, this simple technique, called ‘self affirmation,’ completely eliminated the effects of defeats.”

Not a bad idea, overall. Figure out what’s really important in life!

Here are a few suggestions:

Praise the LORD!
How blessed is the one who fears the LORD,
Who greatly delights in His commandments.
Psalm 112:1

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is:
fear God and keep His commandments,
because this applies to every person.
Ecclesiastes 12:13

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 6:33

Whatever you do, do your work heartily,
as for the Lord rather than for men …. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
Colossians 3:23–24

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
This is the great and foremost commandment.
The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Matthew 22:37–39

Better than “waisting” our lives!

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