Doctor talks about the link between stress and obesity 01:57

Stress can cause a wide range of biochemical changes in the body that have a negative impact on various systems and organs. Khadizhat Saadulaeva, psychotherapist at SM-Clinic, told socialbites.ca that stress, especially long-term, can contribute to weight gain and, as a result, obesity.

He noted that stress symptoms can range from physiological (e.g., rapid heartbeat, overexcitement, sweating, headaches) to psychological (anxiety, depression, irritability, lethargy) and behavioral (overeating, worsening eating habits). Understanding the biochemical mechanisms of stress and how they affect the body helps develop effective strategies to manage stress and maintain health and well-being.

“Under stress, the body releases the hormone cortisol, which can stimulate appetite and lead to a desire to eat foods, especially those rich in carbohydrates and fat. This can lead to overeating and weight gain,” Saadulaeva said.

Additionally, stress can also lead to emotional eating, which means a person turns to food as a way to cope with negative emotions or feelings of discomfort. This can lead to the development of comfort eating habits that can contribute to obesity.

“Stress can also affect a person’s lifestyle, causing reduced physical activity, increased alcohol consumption or poor quality food consumption, which can contribute to excessive weight gain,” the doctor added.

In addition, stress-induced obesity can become a source of stress for a person due to negative perceptions of one’s appearance or feelings of dissatisfaction with oneself, which can reinforce the stress cycle and disordered eating behavior.

“Therefore, it is important to remember that obesity and stress can be mutually reinforcing, and that effective management of weight and psychological health requires attention to both aspects of nutrition and physical activity, as well as strategies for coping with stress and emotions. Psychotherapy, healthy nutrition, regular exercise and other self-regulation methods can help you cope with both obesity and stress,” the psychotherapist concluded.

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Source: Gazeta

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