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Study: Link Found Between Losing Sports Teams, Heavier Fans

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The results of a new study spell trouble for Minnesota sports fans’ waist lines.

Believe it or not, a study published Monday in a Psychological Science found that after a sports team loses, fans of that team eat 16 percent more saturated fats than they usually do.

Fans of winning teams apparently are getting thinner, too. The study found the winning fans ate 9 percent less saturated fat.

Fans have such a deep attachment to their NFL teams that losing can trigger a food binge, the study said.

However, at the Fan Central booth at the Minnesota State Fair, some Vikings fans don’t buy it.

“I don’t know. The Vikings lost a lot last year and I actually stayed the same weight, so I don’t know if I actually believe it,” Vikings fan Steve Hanson said.

The study says fans after a loss not only eat more, they turn to fatty often fried comfort foods and sweets.

“I definitely don’t do that. I just hope they win the next game that is all you can do,” fan Michael Coleman said.

Other studies have linked sports losses to an increase in domestic violence and calls to police

A study released by the National Institute of Health said if a team — that is expected to win – loses, 911 calls to police increased by 10 percent. But overeating, while some fans say no – others agree.

Terry Christon who is a big Vikings fan said,

“I am guilty,” Christon said. “You love them so much you hate to see them lose, so it makes you depressed a little bit. So, you get an extra bowl of ice cream and an extra cold beer. I think it’s true.”

In other sports, we went to the Twins Fair Experience to ask about the weight gain and losing team connection.

“I would say a little true, but maybe because you’re doing more drinking while you are watching the game because you are in so much pain,” Andrea Smith said.

Dave Wagner of Woodbury has doubts.

“I haven’t gained a pound in the last three years since they have been into losing, so I don’t think it is true,” Wagner said.

But he’s willing to get back to us.

“We are going to the game tomorrow the 12 noon game, so if they lose, well, let you know how much more we eat , OK?” Wagner said.

Twin fans also pointed out that since the Twins have lost 73 games this season, if there was a direct connection between losing and weight gain, they would really be in trouble.

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