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Thursday, 2 September 2010

Link Between Everyday Stress and Obesity Strenthened

Stress can take a daily toll on us that has broad physical and psychological implications. Science has long documented the effect of extreme stress, such as war, injury or traumatic grief on humans. Typically, such situations cause victims to decrease their food intake and body weight. Recent studies, however, tend to suggest that social stress--public speaking, tests, job and relationship pressures--may have the opposite effect--over-eating and weight gain. With the rise of obesity rates, science has increasingly focused on its causes and effects--including stress.

A recent study conducted by the Departments of Psychiatry and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, examined the effects of stress on the meal patterns and food intake of animals exposed to the equivalent of everyday stress on humans. The results suggest that, not only does stress have an impact on us in the short term, it can cause metabolic changes in the longer term that contribute to obesity.

Stress is experienced by animals and humans on a daily basis and many individuals experience cycles of stress and recovery throughout the day. If, following stress, we consume larger and less frequent meals, the conditions are favorable for weight gain--especially in the abdomen. We know that belly fat, as well as stress, contributes to the development of cardiovascular disease, immune dysfunction and other metabolic disorders. Further studies using the VBS model will help us understand the relationship between stress and obesity and help us treat and prevent the development of these diseases

(More information on this study can be found by clicking HERE)
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With obesity and body image in the media more and more in recent years, it seems now more than ever trying to maintain a healthy diet and exercise is important - especially if you've had that extra-stressful day at the office!

Possible methods to help you relax? Meditation, Tai Chi or a nice cup of tea!

1 comment:

  1. Two points of the above are extremely valid and useful to remember:
    1. "Not only does stress have an impact on us in the short term, it can cause metabolic changes in the longer term that contribute to obesity."
    2. " If, following stress, we consume larger and less frequent meals, the conditions are favorable for weight gain--especially in the abdomen."

    They are key points in understanding stress-obesity relationship on the elementary level.

    This sounds like a very interesting research. Please let us know if there are some new developments coming from them.

    ReplyDelete

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