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Stress leads to obesity, not to weight-loss

July 10, 2009 14:31 IST

A study has suggested that people fighting the battle of the bulge should de-stress themselves, as it found that too much stress can make you fat.

At one point or the other, everybody suffers from stress. Relationship demands, physical as well as mental health problems, pressure at workplaces, traffic snarls, meeting deadlines, growing-up tensions -- all of these conditions and situations are valid causes of stress.

A study at Harvard University, which was aimed to find a link between weight gain and stress, depression or anxiety disorder, contradicted the commonly-held belief that people lose weight through anxiety.

The research, which was based on study of 1,355 men and women for nine years, found that too much stress can make you fat. For men, weight gain was more likely to be related to work problems, said the research, which was published yesterday.

Overall, the study found people who reported increased stress gained more weight if they already had higher body mass indexes. Though a 'stress' condition seems 'relative' in nature, with the rapid diversification of human activity it has become a common feature of urban lifestyle.

Extreme stress conditions, psychologists say, are detrimental to human health but in moderation stress is normal and, in many cases, proves useful.

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