Tuesday November 12, 2019

Being Hungry Might Increase Your Stress Level

The findings showed that the animals experienced stress and depressed mood when they were hypoglycemic

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Sudden drop in glucose when you are hungry can have a negative impact on your mood, suggests new research.

The researchers wanted to investigate whether chronic, long-term hypoglycemia — low blood sugar — is a risk factor for developing depression-like behaviours.

“We found evidence that a change in glucose level can have a lasting effect on mood,” said Professor Francesco Leri from University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

Published in the journal Psychopharmacology, the study examined the impact of a sudden glucose drop on emotional behaviour by inducing hypoglycemia in rats.

The rats were injected with a glucose metabolism blocker causing them to experience hypoglycemia.

They were then placed in a specific chamber. On a separate occasion, they were injected water and placed in a different chamber.

When given the choice of which chamber to enter, they actively avoided the chamber where they experienced hypoglycemia.

stress
Representational image. Pixabay

“This type of avoidance behaviour is an expression of stress and anxiety,” said Leri.

“The animals are avoiding that chamber because they had a stressful experience there. They don’t want to experience it again,” she added.

The researchers tested blood levels of the rats after they experienced hypoglycemia and found more corticosterone — an indicator of physiological stress.

The rats also appeared more sluggish when given the glucose metabolism blocker.

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The findings showed that the animals experienced stress and depressed mood when they were hypoglycemic, Leri stated.

“When people think about negative mood states and stress, they think about the psychological factors, not necessarily the metabolic factors. But we found poor eating behaviour can have an impact,” lead researcher Thomas Horman from University of Guelph said. (IANS)

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39 Million People Suffering from Hunger in Latin America and The Caribbean

(Hunger) is a really worrying trend because, after undernourishment and hunger had declined for decades in that region and around the world

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People, Hunger, Latin America
Eve Crowley, who is in Montevideo to present a book commemorating FAO's 68 years in Uruguay, described the current situation in the region in an interview with EFE on Saturday. Pixabay

An increase in the number of people suffering from hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean, now totaling 39 million, is a cause of concern for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), according to its deputy representative for that region.

Eve Crowley, who is in Montevideo to present a book commemorating FAO’s 68 years in Uruguay, described the current situation in the region in an interview with EFE on Saturday.

“(Hunger) is a really worrying trend because, after undernourishment and hunger had declined for decades in that region and around the world, we’re now seeing an increase,” she said. “In the Latin American and the Caribbean region there are now 39 million people suffering from hunger.”

On the other end of the spectrum levels of obesity and overweight also are elevated in the region and ascend to as high as 65 per cent of the population in Uruguay, compared to 60 per cent for the region as a whole.

People, Hunger, Latin America
An increase in the number of people suffering from hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean, now totaling 39 million, is a cause of concern for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), according to its deputy representative. Pixabay

“We have a target of … eradicating malnutrition in all of its forms, and currently one of its expressions is that in many countries there’s a combination of simultaneous problems – not only in the country, (but) at times in the home and at times in the same person,” she said, noting that undernourishment occasionally goes hand in hand with overweight and obesity and micronutrient deficiency.

Regarding the high level of meat consumption in the region, although the FAO promotes and recognizes the importance of that food group, the expert expressed concern that animal protein is being consumed in excess at the expense of fruit and vegetables.

“The use of antibiotics in the production chain of meat and fish is a very big source of concern for the FAO, Pan American Health Organization, World Health Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health because we know that in 2050 antimicrobial resistance will be the biggest cause of death in the world, ahead of cancer and noncommunicable diseases,” Crowley added.

She said it is very important for governments to levy taxes on unhealthy foods and to incentivize the consumption of fruits, vegetables and fish, as well as to promote family farming and educational campaigns such as the latest nutritional guide released by Uruguay’s Health Ministry.

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“If governments don’t take action now, they’re going to pay with (heavy burdens on) their public health systems, something that’s already happening with the spending of millions of dollars to alleviate noncommunicable diseases,” Crowley said. (IANS)