Is your love for football making you pile on the pounds?

Is your love for football making you pile on the pounds?

Supporting a losing football team could be having a detrimental effect on your waistline, according to new research.

After a defeat, fans of the losing side are more likely to consume more fatty foods like pizza and cake, and more calories overall than on a normal day.

Those who live in the city of a beaten team eat an average 16% more saturated fat than usual and 10% more calories, whereas those who lived in a winning city consumed 9% less saturated fat and 5% fewer calories.

It gets even worse for die-hard supporters, their fat consumption rocketed by almost a third following a defeat and fell by 16% if their team won.

The research on American Football supporters suggests that fans use comfort eating as a coping mechanism, whilst victories boost their self-control.

Lead researcher Dr Yann Cornil, of French business school INSEAD, said: ‘The idea could be that there is comfort in food. We reach for sweet and fatty food in particular, like cake or chips, as it helps ease our mood.

So, what can you do to help ease the effect on your diet?

Dr Yann Cornil and Prof Pierre Chandon of INSEAD Business School, who published their study in the Psychological Science journal, said: "Even if you are rooting for a perennial loser, there is a solution if you are concerned about healthy eating.

"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."

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