Scientists Issue Warning Over Comfort Foods

Scientists Issue Warning Over Comfort Foods

( – People often overeat when under a lot of pressure; this is called stress eating. While indulging is sometimes okay, it becomes problematic when food is used as a coping mechanism for stress on a regular basis.

Depression, diabetes, anxiety, asthma, and cardiovascular disease are among the mental and physical health issues that may be impacted by prolonged exposure to high levels of stress, as stated by the American Psychological Association. Disorders of the immunological system, obesity, gastrointestinal problems, and persistent exhaustion are among the symptoms that stress may bring on.

According to Dr. Rosalind Baynham from the University of Birmingham, many physiological changes occur in response to stress. Blood pressure and heart rate both rise as blood vessels widen and more blood reaches the brain. When people are mentally stressed, their blood vessel flexibility decreases, which is an indicator of poor vascular function.

She stated that comfort food could prevent an individual’s body from healing after a stressful event. But research on how a person’s diet affects these symptoms is limited. Consequently, studies were conducted to see whether comfort foods may alleviate or exasperate these symptoms.

The usual brain response to fullness was hijacked by stress, according to researchers at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. This led to the persistent activation of reward signals, which in turn enabled the consumption of more appetizing meals.

According to Professor Herbert Herzog, a senior author at the Garvan Institute, they demonstrated that a combination of chronic stress and a high-calorie diet might lead to an increase in food consumption. Additionally, it promotes obesity due to weight gain by driving a predilection for sugary, very tasty food. The importance of maintaining a balanced diet when under stress has been brought to light by this study.

Additionally, Baynham’s group discovered that sugary and fatty meals were linked to a lower oxygen supply to the brain’s pre-frontal cortex. The participants’ mood was negatively affected throughout, as well as following the stressful experience because of this. The effects were not the same when people ate fewer sugary and fatty meals.

Copyright 2023,