President Obama addresses House vote in Ford Motor Co. speech

News, Special Sections Editor @ UDK

It was an early morning for myself and the rest of the UDK news team assigned to cover the President’s speech. I woke up at 5 a.m. for the 45 minute drive to Claycomo, Mo., where just eight hours later, I would no longer wonder what Barack Obama’s voice sounds like in person.

The day was a blur. We spent those hours waiting for a speech that took maybe 30 minutes. Barack Obama walked onto the stage in a blue button-down shirt and presidential navy tie which almost blended with the shades of industrial gray of the warehouse. iPhone cameras flashed (my own included) as he smiled and approached the podium. The first few words that echoed in the gray over the amplified microphone mesmerized me before duty snapped me back to reality.

I sat down and started typing. I looked up when he was done, but he had already descended from the stage and had disappeared once more.

President Obama addresses House vote in Ford Motor Co. speech

Fan or fat: study shows saturated fat consumption increases after a loss

News, Special Sections Editor @ UDK

Disappointed football fans may experience a food hangover that could pack on the pounds.

On the day after their favorite NFL team loses, people eat about 16 percent more saturated fat and 10 percent more calories according to a recent study in Psychological Science. For a typical 2,000-calorie diet, the extra saturated fat is equivalent to eating a McDonald’s medium French fry. Fans who back the winning team consume 9 percent fewer saturated fat and five percent less calories following a victory.

NFL to LFK

Although the study focused on professional teams, Pierre Chandon, one of the study’s researchers and a marketing professor at the INSEAD Business School in France, said the result would be the same for a packed house at Arrowhead and a less-full Memorial Stadium.

“What matters is the fan’s identification with their team, so I would expect, in fact, that the effects would be stronger for college football,” Chandon said in an email.

The 726 participants in Chandon’s study recorded what they ate for a two-week period during two consecutive NFL seasons. In cities with the most devoted NFL fans, such as Chicago, Green Bay, Denver, and Pittsburgh, saturated fat consumption increased by as much as 28 percent the following Monday. No effect was found in cities where the NFL team didn’t play that week or cities without an NFL team. The results were replicated in two more studies with French soccer fans who preferred unhealthy foods after thinking about or watching a defeat.

Reason enough for rule-bending

The psychology behind sports fans’ behavior boils down to: when a team is winning, fans feel good about themselves. If the team is losing, fans feel a similar sense of defeat. Researchers believe the extra fat consumption is a coping mechanism for fed-up fans. With a 2-6 record, Jayhawk football followers may have enough reason to pack on plenty.

Chris Crandall, a social psychology professor at the University, said a game is an occasion that lets people set normal rules aside, and those rules don’t necessarily change back when the game ends.

“We can be louder, drink a little more, act a little rowdier and eat less healthy food,” he said. “Keep in mind that food is there for the celebration, and why would it be surprising that, when a game is over, people might return to it?”

The study found the extra consumption might have more to do with fans choosing fattier foods than eating more. In a previous study at the University of Leuven in Belgium, saturated fats were shown to ward off negative feelings and boost positive moods.

“Since they were deprived of good feeling from the game’s result, they might be more interested in good feelings from food,” Crandall said.

Curbing indulgence 

Football games often are a good part of Lauren Tenold’s weekend. Tenold, a sophomore from Overland Park, grew up watching the Kansas City Chiefs on Sundays. Since coming to the University, she’s also tailgated for most of the Jayhawks’ Saturday home games.

Tenold said she’s “bummed” if the Chiefs lose and isn’t shocked at a KU loss, but it’s the high-calorie, low-nutrient comfort food that ties the entire football experience together and makes it more memorable.

“On gamedays, I’m more willing to eat more junk food or snacks that I wouldn’t normally eat during the week,” Tenold said. “But if I knew in advance that my team was going to lose and I would eat more fats, I would specifically watch what I was eating that day and try to make healthier decisions.”

Chandon and his research partner, Yann Cornil, offered advice to health-conscious perennial losers in a news release.

“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.”

Link to Kansan.com story.

Professor designs potential Lamborghini museum

Features, Special Sections Editor @ UDK

In the midst of the first week of classes and the second week of being an editor, I was handed this story, designed to be an 800+ word feature about this professor. When I showed up to the interview, Prof. Sander’s daughter was also there, to my surprise.

After talking to the pair, it turns out that the real story had little to do with the Lamborghini museum and everything to do with the father-daughter relationship these two have. Although I ended up with 64 minutes of audio to sift through, and I missed work due to it, I emerged from this hellish week with one of my best pieces of writing–scratch that, my best story–to date.

Professor designs potential Lamborghini museum

Automobile architect

Globe trotting students experience culture shock after returning from studying abroad

Features, Reporter @ UDK

Obviously, “culture shock” is something these study abroad students were prepared for when they journeyed to the other America for the summer. However, what they didn’t expect was difficulty transitioning back into “normal” life in the U.S.A. Even though it was a phone interview, when I asked Margo if she felt like anyone understood what she was going through, I could almost see her confused, if not a little pained, face as she struggled to find words. I think she stated it eloquently when she told me that normal life “doesn’t fit the same again.”

I also liked both girls’s answers to what the first thing they did when they got home was–Margo ate a mammoth American-style meal and Hannah chowed down on a traditional Mexican burrito.

Globe trotting students experience culture shock after returning from studying abroad

Globe trotting students experience culture shock after returning from studying abroad

Romantic rivals: Two young Kansans plan to marry

Features, Reporter @ UDK

This story is part of the summer relationship series for The Kansan. I enjoyed speaking to this couple–I really got a feel for their relationship and I tried to incorporate their laid-back attitude and competitive nature in the article. 

I also included some comments I found from the article that Emilyjane shared on her Facebook. That feedback made me feel like writing this couple’s story was worthwhile and meaningful.

Romantic Rivals: Two young Kansans plan to marry

Romantic rivals: Two young Kansans plan to marry


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