A new study out of London finds stress may be linked to obesity. Dr. Amanda Staiano with LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center says chronic stress can promote fat accumulation on the body. She says while it could be a physiological reason, it might also be because people change their behaviors when they’re stressed.
"People to tend to eat more when they are stressed and eat more high calorie foods as well, so that might contribute to the obesity," Staiano said.
The 4-year study linked obesity to a stress hormone called cortisol. Participants who were obese through the entire study showed higher levels of stress hormones. Staiano says while some stress is out of our control, there are ways people can try to reduce their stress levels.
"Whatever people can do to try and get adequate sleep, get proper nutrition, physical activity and use stress management techniques, it should be better to their long-term health," Staiano said.
Staiano says over two-thirds of Louisiana adults and half of the children in our state are overweight or obese, so this is an important study for the Bayou State. She hopes to see more research in this area.
"This is a really serious issue for our state and the more research we can do in this area, the better we can to help prevent obesity and treat obesity and make our citizens healthier."