Stress May Leave You Heading to the Cookie Jar07/14/14
MONDAY, July 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Stress can slow a
woman's metabolism and lead to weight gain, new research
The study included 58 women, average age 53, who were asked
about their stress levels the previous day and then given a meal
than included 930 calories and 60 grams of fat. The Ohio State
University researchers measured how long it took the women to burn
off those calories and fat.
On average, women who had one or more stressful events during
the previous 24 hours burned 104 fewer calories in the seven hours
after eating the meal than those who were stress-free.
On a daily basis, that difference could add up to a weight gain
of nearly 11 pounds a year, the researchers said.
The stressed women also had higher levels of the hormone
insulin, which contributes to the storage of fat, according to the
study, published in the latest issue of the journal
The findings show that "over time, stressors could lead to
weight gain," study lead author Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, a professor
of psychiatry and psychology, said in a university news
"We know from other data that we're more likely to eat the wrong foods when we're stressed, and our data say that when we eat the wrong foods, weight gain becomes more likely because we are burning fewer calories," she said.
Previous studies have found that people who are under stress or
have other mood problems are at increased risk for becoming
overweight or obese. The new findings suggest one reason for that
possible connection, Kiecolt-Glaser and her colleagues said.
"We know we can't always avoid stressors in our life, but one thing we can do to prepare for that is to have healthy food choices in our refrigerators and cabinets so that when those stressors come up, we can reach for something healthy rather than going to a very convenient but high-fat choice," study co-author Martha Belury, a professor of human nutrition, said in the news release.
The study suggested a connection between stress and weight gain,
but it did not prove such a link exists.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains how
prevent weight gain.
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