People have a tendency to consume more of sugar or fatty foods under strenuous situations. A latest study from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre reveals that excessive stress makes people eat such unhealthy foods.
The research, published in the ‘Journal of Clinical Investigation,’ was conducted by the US scientists who established that nearly two-fifth of the people consume excess food when they are under pressure.
Hunger hormone ghrelin causes comfort eating
You might grab a pack of biscuits, pastries or chocolates under stress. Don’t worry, such habits are normal as a hunger hormone ghrelin in our body causes comfort eating.
“The popular media and personal anecdotes are rich with examples of stress-induced eating of calorically dense comfort foods. Such behavioral reactions likely contribute to the increased prevalence of obesity in humans experiencing chronic stress or atypical depression.”—Lead Author Dr Jeffrey Zigman.
The US based researchers delineated the levels of ghreline surge during long hours of stressful situations and consequently, drive people into consuming more of unhealthy eatables.
An experiment was executed by the scientists where the eating habits of mice, under excess stress, were monitored. Later, examiners concluded that “the ghrelin levels of mice exposed to a variety of stressful situations who had free access to comforting chow.”
Lead author Dr Jeffrey Zigman said, “Many people when stressed turn to high calorie ‘comfort foods’. In our study, stress-induced food-reward behavior was dependent on signaling by the hormone ghrelin.”
In addition, examining such behaviors would result in growth medicines that can control such human behavior.
“Insight into this could provide new targets for the development of drugs to curb this potentially detrimental behavior,” added Zigman.
Too much stress leads to obesity
Apart from inciting comfort eating, too much of anxiety also leads to obesity.
Palpably, mental pressure causes people to eat more than they generally do and this makes them over-weight. As mentioned in the report, nearly half of the British adults are plump and one in five is obese.
“The popular media and personal anecdotes are rich with examples of stress-induced eating of calorically dense comfort foods. Such behavioral reactions likely contribute to the increased prevalence of obesity in humans experiencing chronic stress or atypical depression,” said Zigman.