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Another Reason to Manage Stress

separator A recent study showed that women who experience high levels of stress tend to eat food that’s high in fat after the stress is over. Study subjects were forced to complete a variety of tasks within 25 minutes, and at the same time, they had to listen to a high volume of noise—telephones ringing and other typical office noises. Afterwards, when a tray of snacks was in front of them, they chose fattier foods, such as fatty cheese and chips, instead of the lower fat choices, like pretzels and popcorn. The higher the frustration level, the more they ate.

Women can use this knowledge to gain insight into why they eat what they eat, and to make conscious decisions to replace the high-fat-eating response with something different, such as deep breathing, stretching, taking a short walk, etc.

Interestingly, men who participated in the study did not experience any difference in eating habits based on stress levels.

Journal of Applied Social Psychology, July 2004.
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