Researchers study what happens to your body during football tailgating

Ever wondered what all the extra eating and drinking during tailgating does to your body? MU researchers are on the case.

Hot dogs for game day, super bowl food

Feb. 5, 2021

Super Bowl Sunday is coming, and for football fans, the day can often include eating fatty foods and drinking alcohol. Have you ever wondered what all of that eating and drinking does to your body?

Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine simulated a tailgating situation with a small group of overweight but healthy men and examined the impact of the eating and drinking on their livers using blood tests and a liver scan. They discovered remarkably differing responses in the subjects. Unexpectedly, those with an elevated amount of liver fat drank 90% less alcohol and tended to eat more carbohydrates compared to the other subjects.

“Surprisingly, we found that in overweight men, after an afternoon of eating and drinking, how their bodies reacted to food and drink was not uniform,” said Elizabeth Parks, professor of nutrition and exercise physiology. “In some people, the body responded in a unique way to take the stress off the liver. These findings reveal that both genetics and lifestyle can work together to protect us from overconsumption of nutrients.”

Parks said the research team hopes to conduct further studies to better understand differences between people in how they respond to excess food and alcohol.

Read more from the School of Medicine

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