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Stress, Comfort Foods Can Pack Pounds On Women

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Uploaded on Jul 11, 2014

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) July 2014 -- A new study about indulging in high-fat comfort foods after stressful situations is bound to make many women uncomfortable. Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have found that women who ate a high-fat meal the day after a stressful event metabolized food slower, and the daily effect of that habit could lead to a weight gain of up to 11 extra pounds a year.

"We fed our volunteers 930 calories and 60 grams of fat, typical of many fast food meals," said Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, lead author and director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State. "When we're stressed, those are the kinds of foods many women crave, but our study says that's exactly what we should avoid," she said.

After being interviewed about the previous day's stressful events, like an argument with a spouse or a conflict at work, volunteers were fed a high-fat meal and monitored throughout the day with special masks that measured their metabolism. "The stress really had an impact on their ability to burn calories," said Martha Belury, PhD, a co-author of the study. If the women reported having stress the day before, "On average, they burned 104 calories fewer, which quickly adds up," she said.

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