Friday December 6, 2019

Eating Comfort Food in Stress Will Add Extra Kilos, Says Study

“We were surprised that insulin had such a significant impact on the amygdala,” said Professor Herzog

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Obesity
An overweight woman sits on a chair in Times Square in New York, May 8, 2012. (Representational image). VOA

Eating too much high-calorie food is anyway bad for health but under stress, sugary and high-fat diet can lead to more weight gain than in normal situations, says a study.

During an experiment on mice, the team discovered that a high-calorie diet when combined with stress resulted in more weight gain than the same diet caused in a stress-free environment.

“This study indicates that we have to be much more conscious about what we’re eating when we’re stressed, to avoid a faster development of obesity,” said Professor Herbert Herzog said, Head of the Eating Disorders laboratory at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in New South Wales (NSW).

According to the findings published in the journal-Cell Metabolism, some individuals eat less when they are stressed but most will increase their food intake — and crucially, the intake of calorie-dense food high in sugar and fat.

To understand what controls this ‘stress eating’, the researchers investigated different areas of the brain in mice.

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The scientists discovered that chronic stress alone raised the blood insulin levels only slightly but in combination with a high-calorie diet, the insulin levels were 10 times higher than mice that were stress-free and received a normal diet. Pixabay

While food intake is mainly controlled by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, another part of the brain — the amygdala — processes emotional responses, including anxiety.

The scientists discovered that chronic stress alone raised the blood insulin levels only slightly but in combination with a high-calorie diet, the insulin levels were 10 times higher than mice that were stress-free and received a normal diet.

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“We were surprised that insulin had such a significant impact on the amygdala,” said Professor Herzog.

“It’s becoming more and more clear that insulin doesn’t only impact peripheral regions of the body but that it regulates functions in the brain. We’re hoping to explore these effects further in future,” Herzog added. (IANS)

Next Story

Parents With Single Child More Likely to Tackle an Obese Kid: Study

Researchers found mothers of singleton children were more likely to be obese themselves

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Researchers have found that only Child, who researchers refer to as 'singleton,' have less healthy family eating practices, beverage choices, and total Healthy Eating Index 2010 score, coming in lower on three out of the 12 areas measured. Pixabay

Parents with only Child are more likely to tackle an obese kid as children without siblings may be at a higher risk of gaining weight than those who have brothers and sisters, say researchers.

This is because families with multiple children tend to make more healthy eating decisions than families with a single child, the study added.

The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, found that this kind of obesity could be seven times more common among youngsters.

“Healthier eating behaviours and patterns may result from household-level changes rather than peer exposure, as peer exposure is also present in away-from-home care,” said study lead author Chelsea L. Kracht from the University of Oklahoma in the US.

According to the researchers, data was self-reported in daily food logs kept by mothers over the course of three days — two weekdays and one weekend day. Teachers kept logs by proxy for any food children ate while at school.

Mothers also completed the Family Nutrition and Physical Activity questionnaire to evaluate typical family eating behaviour like food and beverage choice.

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Parents with only Child are more likely to tackle an obese kid as children without siblings may be at a higher risk of gaining weight than those who have brothers and sisters, say researchers. Pixabay

Researchers have found that only-children, who researchers refer to as ‘singletons,’ had less healthy family eating practices, beverage choices, and total Healthy Eating Index 2010 score, coming in lower on three out of the 12 areas measured.

They also had significantly lower total scores across weekdays, weekends, and on average, indicating there are both individual and collective differences in eating patterns between the groups.

Researchers found mothers of singleton children were more likely to be obese themselves. Moreover, maternal BMI had a much stronger connection to child BMI percentile and waist circumference percentile than singleton status.

Maternal BMI did not significantly contribute to overall eating patterns but did contribute to empty calories.

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Families with multiple children tend to make more healthy eating decisions than families with a single Child, the study added. Pixabay

The research also found that time spent in away-from-home care like school and daycare was not connected to children’s eating patterns.

“Nutrition professionals must consider the influence of family and siblings to provide appropriate and tailored nutrition education for families of young children,” said Kracht.

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“Efforts to help all children and families establish healthy eating habits and practices must be encouraged,” Kracht added. (IANS)