Researchers found that women who experienced traumatic events in their lifetime or negative life events over the past 5 years were more likely to become obese, compared with women who had not experienced such events.
Senior study author Dr. Michelle A. Albert, of the Center for the Study of Adversity and Cardiovascular Disease at the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues recently presented their findings at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017, held in Anaheim, CA.
Obesity remains one of the largest public health burdens in the United States, affecting more than a third of adults and putting them at risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers.
Previous research has shown that psychological stress can influence our eating habits.
Dr. Albert says, “We know that stress affects behavior, including whether people under- or overeat, as well as neurohormonal activity by in part increasing cortisol production, which is related to weight gain.”
However, the researchers note that little is known about how negative life experiences or traumatic events might influence the likelihood of obesity. This is what Dr. Albert and colleagues sought to find out with their new study.