Stress Can Be Fattening



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Students, amidst the stress of college routine appear to struggle with the inconsistency of healthy diet and a college lifestyle. It is common among the college students to take the only vegetable that is fries. Students attending college from the very beginning are of the opinion that they cannot afford fruits and vegetables.  I am not an exception. I don’t take any fruits and vegetables, since it is quite convenient to snatch a junior bacon cheeseburger. Lack of fruits and vegetables deprive the students of the vitamins and minerals. Students are normally ignoring the warning that deficiency of proper nutrition affects their wellness. The immune system and brain function are some of the first things to be affected by the nutritional deficiency. As a result during the examination time, everyone is stressed out and sick. (Hyde, 15)

In case of normal stress there is possibility of stress hormones returning to normal. However, when stressful situations continue, stress can become chronic and it tends to influence our entire body specifically, our digestive and immune systems, cardiac functions, brain chemistry and hormone balance. Chronic stress decreases levels of serotonin that can give rise to depression, anxiety and carbohydrate cravings. Chronic stress also results in enhanced cravings for unhealthy and or fattening foods. To illustrate, foods in high salt, sugar or fat, or foods that are high glycemic that rather tend to favor rapid blood sugar fluctuations. (Stress: The Mind-Body Connection)

Stress, particularly chronic stress affects one’s heart, jumbles the brain and incapacitates the immune system from functioning like protective system to safeguard the body against infection and cancer. However, more significantly, even stressful thoughts can dissuade one’s tissue of oxygen and the necessary chemicals to maintain your hormones in balance. To our misfortune, we are compelled to be exposed to disaster training several times a day amidst our high stress society. This results in sparking up the hormones to snatch high-octane fat and quick burning glucose for energy to flow to our brain, heart and muscles. This arouses the necessity for storage of more fat. Undoubtedly, the cortisol enhances the fat storage in one place, the worst place of all being the belly. Women appear to be more vulnerable in handling stress. Studies have revealed that the postmenopausal women have remarkably greater blood pressure reactivity than men or pre-menopausal women when under mental stress. The existence of mental stress decreases the blood flow to the heart. The researchers concluded that women being stressed out in their everyday lives or who felt tense, frustrated, sad and lonely; they were twice as prone to a heart attack in the subsequent hours. (Gillespie, 62)

Irrespective of reduction in coronary heart diseases -- CHD mortality in the US in the past three decades, CHD kills nearly 500000 American women each year, with African American women having a higher existence of CHD vulnerability factors and a higher death rate at a younger age than white women. Stress packs a whollop throughout your whole body and can influence the ability to ovulate. This accompanies an increment in testosterone and estradiol resulting in precyctic follicles to enhance with a drop in ovulation. When sheep are confronted with a barking dog or insulin induced hypoglycemia they generate acute increment in adrenocortical hormone -- ACTH, cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine that can only be turned off by high doses of estrogen.  The Growth Hormone -- GH and estrogen causes movement of fat in the body. The cortisol and insulin store fat. The GH heightens during sleep. The sleep deprivation inhibits sufficient generation of GH and melatonin to maintain blood glucose levels in check, and lower one’s metabolism by reducing the thyroid hormone levels, enhance your blood sugar and accelerate metabolic aging thereby acquiring fat. (Gillespie, 62)

It is obvious reality to the fact that people under stress may gain weight. The Georgetown researchers explained as to why people who are chronically stressed gain more weight than they should be dependent upon the calories they consume. The crucial factor in this process is a peptide neurotransmitter known as neuropeptide Y or NPY. NPY is generated under conditions of stress, as a by-product of the fight-or-fight reaction through sympathetic nervous system. An animal is prone to have higher level of NPY under the conditions of chronic stress. Presently, it is discovered that NPY acting outside the brain in adipose tissue varies the metabolism of the animal to enhance the storage of fat. (Stress and weight gain)


Daney, Charles. Stress and weight gain. 30 July, 2007.


Gillespie, Larrian. The Menopause Diet.

Healthy Life Publications. 1999.

Hyde, Jessica. Students can have healthy diet while attending college. Dixie Sun,

Vol. XXXVI, No. 4, September 20, 2006, pp: 15-16.

A. Stress: The Mind-Body Connection.



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