How stress can make you overweight
Weight gain from stress isn’t just due to comfort eating, as feeling under pressure causes our bodies to build up more fat, new research has discovered.
After a hectic day it’s not unusual to treat yourself to a bar of chocolate or a cheeky takeaway to relieve strain. However, even without these luxuries we’re at risk of putting on the pounds as it’s been found that stress triggers a fat generating cell called Adamts1.
The excess fat can then wrap around organs such as the pancreas and the liver, upping the chances of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Stanford University School of Medicine looked into research conducted by University College London in 2015, which identified a link between a demanding job and weight gain. This was because the stressful workplace led to an unhealthy diet, with people in such scenarios being 20 per cent more likely to become obese.
Those whose weight went up due to bad eating habits were found to have more new cells maturing in the fat surrounding internal organs, known as visceral fat tissue.
Although it may not be obvious or visible from the outside, it’s detrimental for people’s health, and while the new findings from Stanford don’t rule out the chance of other unknown hormones involved in the maturing of the cells, the experts believe Admants1 is the lead trigger.
This means that stress, as well as being overweight already, will more than likely cause your body to create more cells as a knock-on effect.
“We think it is a signal that there may be hard times ahead, a trigger to store as much available energy as you can,” senior report author Dr Brian Feldman said.
“You're ingesting food, and some signal has to tell your body to make more fat. We didn't know what was gating or triggering that process in vivo (in the body). This new research goes a long way to fill in the in-between steps.”
Findings were published in Science Signalling.