Why Do We Overeat When Stressed?

Geo Beats
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Learn why we overeat when stressed.

Do you eat unhealthy food when you are stressed out?

Research scientists are saying that it might be a part of human evolutionary survival instinct to eat food that is high in calories to cope with possible harsh conditions and a low availability of resources in the future.

Researchers from the University of Miami gave a group of test subject volunteers some M&M candies; half the participants were told they were high in calories, and the half, they were low in calories.

The subjects were then given unconscious signals to imply harsh conditions, using words like “survival,” “struggle,” “adversity,” “withstand,” “persistence”, and “shortfall.”

Test subjects ate almost two times more of the high calorie M&Ms than the ones labeled as having low calories.

Could this tendency to eat unhealthy foods be one of the reasons behind the growing problem of obesity in countries where the news focuses on economic and resource crises?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over a third of American adults are clinically obese.

Juliano Laran, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Miami School of Business Administration, who conducted the research with doctoral student Anthony Salerno said: “These findings could have positive implications for individuals in the health care field, government campaigns on nutrition, and companies promoting wellness.”

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