"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Chronic stress could make you fat.

The world is getting fat and it's making us sick. But could. Rising stress levels Contributing to our growing waistlines?

Obesity is now considered one of them. Main causes of death worldwide and is related to an increased risk of chronic health conditions. There is far public interest within the the explanation why some people struggle with their weight while others find it easy to remain thin, which is usually blamed on Jeans or health conditions, eg Thyroid problems.

Stress is one other potential risk factor that has attracted research attention. People are inclined to report. Overeating and “comfort eating” Foods which might be high in sugar, fat and calories when stressed. And since the stress hormone Cortisol plays a job in metabolism and fat storage, there are plausible biological mechanisms behind the possible link between stress and weight gain.

In research published in obesity This week we found that chronic stress was consistently related to people being heavier, and more consistently, chubby.

Our data was collected over a four-year period as a part of English Longitudinal Study of Aging, a study that followed a big group of individuals age 50 and older. We found that individuals with higher hair cortisol levels had a bigger waist circumference, were heavier and had a better body mass index (BMI). People classified as obese based on BMI (≥30) or waist circumference (≥102 cm in men, ≥88 cm in women) had significantly higher hair cortisol levels.

When we checked out people's weight over a four-year period, we found that those that were more persistently obese had higher hair cortisol measurements than those whose weight fluctuated or whose weight fluctuated. Weight was consistently healthy.

Measuring long-term stress

Why did we use hair to measure cortisol levels? Previous studies the connection between cortisol and obesity have mainly relied on measuring the hormone in blood, saliva or urine. Varies according to time of day and other “situational factors”., similar to eating regimen or illness. Because these methods provide a really short-term picture of an individual's stress levels, these studies weren’t capable of examine the connection between obesity and long-term stress. The distinction between acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) stress is vital because the previous is assumed to act as a protective fight-or-flight response while the latter Harmful effect on the body.

Hair is a reliable solution to measure long-term exposure to emphasize hormones.
Catalin Petolea/Shutterstock.com

Over the past decade, a brand new method for measuring cortisol levels in hair has been developed, and it has been shown that A reliable method Assessing exposure to chronic stress.

For our research, a 2 cm long lock of hair was taken from each participant, cut near the person's scalp. Hair grows at a median rate. 1 cm per monthso our samples represent roughly two months of hair growth with corresponding amassed levels of cortisol.

We measured people's weight, height, and waist circumference, and we used these measures to estimate the connection between hair cortisol and adiposity (fat) levels.

A brand new goal for obesity treatment?

We cannot make certain from our research that stress is causing people to turn out to be obese, but when further research can prove this cause, the link between chronic stress and obesity could also be useful in stopping and treating obesity. offers a possible goal for Tried and tested stress reduction techniques eg Mindfulness meditation And Yoga There are inexpensive, widely accessible options that can assist people reduce their risk of obesity. In more severe cases, it can also be possible to treat obesity using medications that lower cortisol levels.