How does stress affect weight gain?

A Answers (4)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    Stress and Weight Gain
    Stress is a major driver of weight gain. Learn more on this topic in this video of Dr. Oz.

    Helpful? 2 people found this helpful.
  • AMarjorie Nolan Cohn, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

    Yes, stress can cause weight gain. There are several ways that stress can contribute to weight gain. First, stress causes many people to stress eat. Stress eating is a type of emotional eating, which contributes to excess calories and when done often enough causes weight gain. In addition, the type so food people crave when stressed are generally high fat/sugary foods. Second, stress causes the body to produce more of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that promotes body fat, especially around the stomach. Third, when someone is stressed they generally sleep less. Less sleep, chronic fatigue causes the hormone ghrelin to rise. Ghrelin is the primary hunger hormone, and causes someone to feel hungry even when they don’t need to eat.

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  • Research shows a connection between stress and overweight. It seems that higher levels of cortisol, the so-called "stress hormone," increase our tendency to store excess fat -- especially fat around our waist.
  • AJennifer Ashton, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered
    Dr. Jennifer Ashton - How does stress affect weight gain?

    Obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Jennifer Ashton explains how stress affects weight gain. Watch Dr. Jennifer Ashton's video for tips and information on women's health.

    Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
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How can chronic stress lead to weight gain?