Stress and high-fat meals causing slow metabolism in women

14 July 2014

A new study has suggested that experiencing at least one stressful event during the day and eating a single high-fat meal is slowing the body's metabolism. It is thought that this combination could potentially be leading to weight gain in women.

Participants were asked about stressful events the previous day and then given a meal that measured 930 calories with 60 grams of fat. The researchers at the Ohio State University then measured their metabolism, as well as their levels of blood sugar, triglycerides, insulin and the stress hormone cortisol.

It found that, on average, women who had experienced one or more stressors in the last 24 hours burned 104 fewer calories in the seven hours after eating the high fat meal than females who had not.

The team speculate that this could cause a weight gain of nearly 11 pounds over a year. The study also found the stressed women had higher levels of insulin, which contributes to the storage of fat, and less fat oxidation - the conversion of large fat molecules into smaller molecules that can be used as fuel. 

The research is published in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

Posted by Philip Briggs


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