Tuesday June 18, 2019

Researchers Claim, High-Calorie Food Intake in Stress Can Lead To Grater Weight Gain

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

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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. Pixabay

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.

food

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

“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.

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.

weigh loss
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. Pixabay

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.

Also Read: Research Reveals Twitter Users Are More Likely To Identify As Democrats

“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

Don’t Stand and Eat, it May Up Stress and also Mute Taste Buds

The vestibular sense, which is responsible for balance, posture and spatial orientation, interacts with the gustatory sensory system

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Stress, Taste Buds, Eat
Posture impacts taste perception, with food tasting better when you are sitting down. Pixabay

Researchers have found that spending more time standing up and eating for even a few minutes prompts physical stress, muting taste buds.

The study, published in the Journal of Consumer Research finds posture impacts taste perception, with food tasting better when you are sitting down.

The researchers looked specifically at how the vestibular sense, which is responsible for balance, posture and spatial orientation, interacts with the gustatory sensory system, which impacts taste and flavour.

“This finding suggests that parents might be able to make unpleasant-tasting, healthy foods seem more palatable to reluctant children by having them eat standing up (vs. sitting down). In a similar vein, it might be beneficial to maintain a standing posture when consuming pharmaceutical products that have unpleasant tastes,” said study lead author Dipayan Biswas, Professor at the University of South Florida in the US.

Stress, Taste Buds, Eat
Spending more time standing up and eating for even a few minutes prompts physical stress. Pixabay

The research team found that the force of gravity pushes blood to the lower parts of the body, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood back up to the top of the body, accelerating heart rate.

This activates the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and leads to increased concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol.

This chain reaction reduces sensory sensitivity, which impacts food and beverage taste evaluation, food temperature perception and overall consumption volume.

When people experience discomfort, foods that normally taste good do not appear as pleasant to the palate, said the study.

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The research team confirmed their hypothesis by having 350 participants rate the tastiness of a pita chip. Those who were standing gave it a less favourable rating than those who were sitting in a padded chair.

They expanded the study by inducing additional stress and asked participants to try fruit snacks while carrying a shopping bag. Both sitting and standing participants reported the additional weight made the food item taste even worse. (IANS)