Stress and Weight Gain

 

You hear time and time again that stress contributes to weight gain. It may be easy to assume that when we are stressed, we sometimes eat more and exercise less, but there’s way more to the story than this.

This week, we will take a deep dive into a paper from UCLA published in 2019 that really gets into the nitty gritty details of how stress can lead to weight gain and also how weight gain can lead to stress. I think you’ll come to agree that obesity and stress are much more intricately related than previously thought.

 First of all, though, let’s take a quick look at what exactly stress is.  In this paper, the author defines stress as “a negative emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological, cognitive and behavioral changes that are directed either toward altering the stressful event or accommodating to its effects.”

The stress response actually dates back all the way to our caveman days. In those days, our...

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Junk food: What role does it play in a healthy diet?

 

Chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers are responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide. It makes sense that we’d want to better understand the risk factors that contribute to these diseases, especially when it comes to things that are within our control, including what we choose to eat.

We all intuitively know that unhealthy diets contribute to many of these diseases, but what does the science actually say?

Well, Chen and his colleagues took a look at all the studies done on ultra-processed foods to determine exactly how they affect our health.

What exactly are “ultra-processed foods”? These are foods that have been altered from their original state by multiple processes that could include rolling, puffing, grinding and pearling. Artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and emulsifiers are often added. These give foods a longer shelf-life and also make them super attractive to our palates.

Examples include soft...

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