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The Connection Between Stress and Obesity

Stress and Obesity

  • can be linked to many serious issues including and heart disease. It may be caused by stress
  • Cortisol increases appetite, leading to weight gain, when stress levels rise. Also, according to a study, stress causes a consumption of a diet high in fat

News about the pervasiveness of obesity has reached the United States and beyond. Unfortunately, obesity can be linked to other serious diseases including diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Plus, obesity can reduce the quality of life for people by decreasing their mobility, increasing their aches and pains (because the extra weight puts too much pressure on their joints), and more. This is all somewhat common knowledge.

However, what many of us don’t know is that obesity may, in part, be caused by chronic stress and modern problems.

The Cortisol Link

One of the most discussed topics in the investigation of the link between stress and obesity is cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that is responsible for regulating your energy. The hormone accesses your supply of fat and makes use of your storehouse to help you keep going. Test results show that more cortisol is released into your body as stress levels rise. This, in turn, increases the appetite and cravings for sugars/fats that inevitably lead to weight gain.

Fat Cells & Stress

More recent research has found another connection between obesity and stress. A molecule in the body known an NPY is now known to unlock fat cells in the body. These cells will then increase both in number and size which can lead to obesity. Researchers conducted their studies with rats and discovered that stressed rats that consumed a diet high in fat and sugar ended up gaining more weight than those on the same diet that were not stressed.. The difference was in the amount of NPY found in their bodies. In fact, researchers found that when the molecule was blocked, the amount of developing body fat dropped 40 percent.

This study strongly suggests that stress not only makes us want to eat those high-fat and high-sugar foods but that when we do, they are converted into fat at a much higher rate.

The Problems of Excessive Weight Gain

The rate of obesity has skyrocketed in recent years possibly because of an increased amount of stress in the average person’s daily life. With all of that extra weight, people are at an increased risk of developing a number of serious illnesses. The medical community identified more than two dozen diseases that can be caused by or associated with obesity including diabetes and high blood pressure. If possible, make an effort to eat healthy and reduce stress on a daily basis.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

One Response to “The Connection Between Stress and Obesity”

  1. 1
    Jenna Says:
    Talk about vindication! I have been saying for years that my stress levels have caused me to gain weight but everyone thought I was nuts. Now I have something they can read about it. Thanks!