How Stress Affects Appetite

Topics: Nutrition, Cortisol, Food Pages: 4 (1844 words) Published: January 5, 2013
How Does Stress Affect Appetite?
Gender & Food Choice

PSY 490

How Does Stress Affect Appetite?
First off I chose this topic because of personal experiences. At times when I was stress I noticed that I would have an increase in appetite. I first asked myself, is stress reliable for most weight gain in individuals? But I found that question too complex to answer in a short amount of time. After looking over my resources, I noticed that the studies had a focus on gender or food choice of stressed individuals. So in this paper I have a focus on gender and food choice. I hypothesize that women will be more likely to eat sweet foods and to be more stressed than men. Stress is that uneasy emotion or feeling that has you feeling blue, down, sad, and depressed-like. Most people experience some type of stress at some point in their life. In stressful situations your brain will signal the adrenal glands to release a hormone. That hormone is called cortisol. Cortisol releases glucose and fatty acids into the bloodstream to provide energy to the muscles. When you have high cortisol levels, appetite increases as well as the fat deposits made. A lot of this weight will settle in the trunk, cervical, or abdomen area of the stressed person. You will also begin to crave foods that contain high calories and few nutrients, which are not healthy. Stress causes the body to burn more vitamins and minerals. Some of those burned are magnesium, vitamin B and zinc. These vitamins are needed to balance blood sugar, a downfall in these levels cause and increase in stress. The adrenal glands require more vitamin C and pantothenic acid during stress. This vitamin is also part of the vitamin B complex. (Tice) When stressed it seems impossible to sleep but sleep deprivation affects blood sugar levels by increasing cortisol and reducing the production of leptin. This will cause you eat more and become an emotional eater instead of being physically hungry....
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