Stress leads to overeating

Written on Friday, May 16th, 2008 at 5:35 pm by Christiane

Stress is bad for you -there is nothing new about that. Everyone knows that stress could cause heart problems, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and headaches. Scientists at the Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia now discovered that stress may also play a role in obesity.

In an experiment, the researchers compared the feeding pattern of socially dominant female rhesus macaques and socially subordinate. The subordinates were exposed to more stress because rhesus macaques maintain group stability through continual harassment and threat of aggression against lower ranking group members.

During the study, the rhesus macaques were given access to a low fat diet and a high fat diet. The researchers found that socially subordinate females consumed significantly more of both the low-fat diet and the high-fat diet throughout a 24-hour period, while socially dominant females ate significantly less than subordinate animals and restricted their feedings to daytime hours.

Result: Overeating subordinate females gained weight. In addition, the researchers found an increased level of the hormone cortisol in their blood, which could set them on the track to diabetes.

In further studies, the researchers will attempt to determine whether there is a link between brain areas associated with reward and satisfaction and appetite signals. Hypothetically, it could be that we are kind of “programmed” to eat more when we are under psychological stress, and then, for a “stress eater” it will beĀ much harder to stick to a diet.

Read more: http://www.whsc.emory.edu/press_releases2.cfm?announcement_id_seq=14225

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One Response to “Stress leads to overeating”

  1. Budi says:

    Good post. I agree with the first comment above – my undristandeng of the report was that the videotapes of the material were independently reviewed and there was no correlation between the tamarins behavior and the changes in audio sounds between type A and type B strings of syllables. So I believe the material does exist, and by inference it should be on those tapes.And unfortunately Veri, there is no such conspiracy theory or political shenanigans involved here. It simply takes this long to conduct these investigations in academic settings. The reality is that Harvard would have wanted to do anything they could to protect someone who brings in significant levels of research funding, publishes highly-visible papers and is considered a leader in the field. The fact that it took this long for Harvard only indicates that there was a very thorough and comprehensive investigation, before they came to conclusions we see here. And they are very convincing; Hauser was clearly guilty of fraud on a scary level.Who I feel sorry for are the other researchers in a field like this. Grants have been proposed and funded, and research investigations have been begun, based on published findings that at this point resemble a house of cards in cognitive function theory. What is citable at this point? What else by Hauser has to be called into question?

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