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People Under Stress Metabolize Calories Differently, With Unhealthy Results

April 29, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Highly stressed people who consume a high-fat, high-sugar diet tend to be more at risk for serious health problems than less stressed people who indulge in the same unhealthy diet, a new U.S. study finds. Researchers followed 61 healthy women, 33 of whom were chronically stressed from caring for a spouse or parent with dementia. The women reported their consumption of high sugar, high fat foods for a year. The researchers evaluated key biological markers associated with elevated metabolic risk. More frequent high-fat, high-sugar eating significantly predicted a larger waistline, more truncal fat, higher oxidative damage, and more insulin resistance among the stressed-out women. These women also had higher levels of a stress-related biomarker, peripheral Neuropeptide Y.
Kirstin Aschbacher et al., " Chronic Stress Increases Vulnerability to Diet-Related Abdominal Fat, Oxidative Stress, and Metabolic Risk. ", Psychoneuroendocrinology, April 29, 2014, © Elsevier Ltd.
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