Stress results in buildup of belly fat and poor eating habits says new study
July 19, 2005
A new study in the medical journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity suggests there is a link between stress, the consumption of comfort foods, and the buildup of abdominal fat.
Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) found that rats living more stressful lives eat larger quantities of unhealthy foods and have higher levels of stress hormones in their blood. Surprisingly as these rats accumulated more belly fat, their stress hormones declined. This finding suggests that gaining abdominal fat may be the body’s way of coping with stress. Further, stress hormones may somehow activate the brain’s reward center resulting in certain foods actually tasting better during times of stress and making you eat more of them.
Monkey studies at Wake Forest University have had similar findings. Animals living is stressful situations were more likely to accumulate visceral fat, unhealthy fat that accumulates around organs and in the abdomen and has been linked to heart disease.
This article used information from WSJ.com and Brain, Behavior and Immunity