Researchers performed an analysis on around 22,000 older as well as middle aged women with an objective to assess the link between traumatic events and obesity, while 23 per cent of the participated women were obese. The team found that the women were more likely to be obese, who had gone through more stresses from utmost life events than those who didn’t face any stressful events.
The study was presented in a meeting at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2017 on 13th November in Anaheim, California. According to Dr. Michelle Albert, a leading author of the study and director at the Center for the Study of Adversity and Cardiovascular Disease of the California University in San Francisco, the findings prove that psychological stress in women’s life may be associated with higher odds of obesity.
Psychological stress can be introduced in a form of traumatic life-changing incident such as death of a child, being victim of severe physical attack, life-threatening misfortune or illness as well as different types of negative events occurred within past few years like burglary, long-term unemployment. Both, obesity and stress are considered as major risk factors in developing heart diseases.
Dr. Albert said in a statement that, “Little is known about how negative and traumatic life events affect obesity in women. We know that stress affects behavior, including whether people under-eat or over-eat, as well as neuro-hormonal activity by, in part, increasing cortisol production, which is related to weight gain. The potential public health impact is large, as obesity is related to increased risks of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer, and contributes to spiraling health care costs.”