New Delhi: Obesity is one of the biggest problems that is swiftly becoming a part of everyone's life. The rising number of obese people around the world just goes to show how we are allowing a particular lifestyle dictate us into an unhealthy state of being.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest reasons behind our growing waistlines is stress – lots of it. Financial issues, relationships, job, health problems, societal pressures – the list of things in life that cause us stress are endless, but the fact remains that we are always under stress, which can lead to further health problems.
Moving towards a fast-paced life can often take its toll on you and put you under mounting pressure and stress.
However, a recent study suggests that stress can be beaten at its own game simply by relaxing.
Researchers from University College London (UCL) conducted the study on 2,527 men and women over the age of 50. They measured the level of cortisol, the stress hormone, in two centimeter clippings of hair (about two months’ growth).
After taking into account variations in age and sex as well as other factors like whether someone smokes or has diabetes, the researchers found that the higher the level of cortisol (ie. the more stressed someone was), the bigger the body weight, BMI and waist circumference of the person.
Having a higher level of cortisol was also linked to persistent obesity over time.
Lead author Sarah E. Jackson said that while we probably can’t eliminate all stress from our lives, we might be able to find ways to control it: “Even just being aware that stress might make you eat more may help.”