Overindulging in high-calorie foods when you’re stressed can lead to faster weight gain.

When stressed, some of us cope by eating fatty, sugary foods. This might satisfy us in the moment, but a new study from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research says doing so can quickly lead to obesity.

Researchers experimented with mice and found that they gained weight more quickly when they consumed high-calorie food in a stressful environment, compared with a stress-free environment. This was due to a molecule called NPY, which the brain produces in response to stress.

NPY promotes eating and also reduces the body’s inclination to burn through calories—a double whammy, resulting in fast weight gain.

The team says that we should be more conscious of stress-eating to prevent rapid weight gain.


Garvan Institute of Medical Research. (2019, April 25). Comfort food leads to more weight gain during stress. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 1, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190425143610.htm