People with a high degree of stress and pressure are more likely to be overweight: study
While people who are overburdened and under pressure often turn to high-calorie foods to stimulate their spirits, a team of Australian researchers on Friday warned that "comfort food" in times of stress may have an impact however. higher in weight gain than previously thought by scientists.
In a study with mice, Garvin Medical Research Institute found that a high-calorie diet combined with stress resulted in greater body weight than the same diet in an environment with no stress.
According to lead author of the study, Dr. Kenny Chi Kin Ip, this is because the molecular pathway in the brain that controls insulin called NPY causes additional weight in times of stress.
"Our study showed that when they were stressed for a long time and had high calorie food, the mice became fat more quickly than those who consumed the same fat-rich food in an environment with no stress," he explained.
"We found that when we excluded the production of NPY in the amygdala (brain), weight gain was reduced."
"Without NPY, weight gain in high-fat diet with stress is the same as weight gain in an environment with no stress, which shows a clear relationship between stress, obesity and NPY."
Under normal circumstances, the body produces insulin immediately after a meal, which helps cells to absorb blood glucose and send a signal to "stop eating" the brain.
But in times of chronic stress and in combination with high caloric diet, mice have been shown to have 10 times higher levels of insulin compared to others who have been placed in an environment with no stress.
The study showed that with these high and prolonged levels of insulin, nerve cells are rapidly desensitized, increasing their NPY levels, which prompts the need to eat and reduce the ability of mice to burn energy.
"Our findings have uncovered a vicious circle, where increased levels of chronic insulins caused by stress and high calorie diet have more to promote eating," said the head of the laboratory for dietary disorders at the Harvard Medical Research Institute Professor Herbert Herzog.
"This really boosted the idea that although it's bad to eat fast food, eating high-calorie foods under stress is a double effect that drives obesity."