Sudden work stress can cause weight gain
Sudden bouts of stress at work could cause an expanding waistline, it's been claimed. You might think that's not much of a surprise, after all who hasn't heard that pressure can cause people to comfort eat? But what's new is the suggestion that being under constant stress at your job won't have much of an impact on the scales.
A team at University College London looked at eight studies boasting 60,000 people and compared the results. Overall, it seemed that those whose jobs were relatively relaxed to begin with but then ramped up a gear were more likely to be obese. In fact, they were 20 per cent more likely to have put on a dangerous amount of weight while their job intensified than those whose careers remained more stable.
Although the reason for the finding isn't totally clear, Professor Sir Cary Cooper explained there could be a correlation between sudden stress and having little time for home life.
"If your job becomes more stressful, it means you are not coping with it," the workplace health expert explained.
"You are probably working longer hours, which means you are probably not eating as well as before, you are probably not having a proper lunch or walking as much."
It's possible people who are struggling with their workload feel the need to boost their energy too, which could lead to them reaching for chocolate or fizzy drinks.
The findings were published in the International Journal of Obesity, where Professor Mika Kivimaki explained they show how important it is to tackle the obesity epidemic. That is especially so because the analysis didn't point to people losing weight when their work stress drops off.
There are currently thought to be one billion overweight adults worldwide, with 300 million obese. That number has risen three fold since 1980, with those who are an unhealthy weight more at risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and hypertension.