Apr 30 2012

Daily Mail: "Stress Makes you Fat"

Why do we reach for comfort foods when we are stressed? Researcher Dr Alon Chen can show that we are hard wired to reach for sugary and fatty foods in times of extreme stress.

Dr Chen has located a gene that produces a brain protein (Ucn3) in times of stress. Ucn3 can deeply affect, “organs including the heart, muscles, liver and pancreas. It increases appetite and affects how full we feel as well as the way the body uses insulin, a hormone crucial in the processing of sugar into energy.”

So Ucn3 is responsible for getting extra energy to the body when it needs it most. Trouble is, much of modern stress is not used for single critical stress responses, like getting away from a tiger. Modern stressors tend to be psychological. And we have trouble turning psychological stress off. Bottom Line? Lots of chubby overstressed people.

For more on this fascinating topic, link here.

photo credit: Peter Reali/Corbis
link to the Daily Mail’s, Stress can make you fat