Posted on Feb 07, 2012, 6 a.m.
Researchers from Norway suggest a mechanism by which stress may make a person fat, and being obese may create stress.
In that poor diet and lack of exercise are not sufficient to explain the worldwide rise in obesity, University of Stavanger (Norway) researchers suggest that stress is one of many other factors which could contribute to the situation. Reviewing a number of studies, the team determined that weight gain and cortisol (the stress hormone) levels are noticeably higher in people who became fatter because of stress. As well, they note that getting fatter can potentially trigger the stress response, which in turn encourages additional weight gain. Referring to this as a vicious cycle, the study authors submit that: “Our hypothesis is that stress and obesity interfere by positive feedback.”
Brynjar Foss, Sindre M. Dyrstad. “Stress in obesity: Cause or consequence?,” Medical Hypotheses, Volume 77, Issue 1, July 2011, Pages 7-10.