Eating too high a calorie food is in any case bad for health but under stress, a dangerous diet and high fat can lead to more weight gain than normal situations, says research.
During the experiment on mice, the team found that a high-calorie diet combined with stress caused more weight gain than the same diet caused in a stress-free environment.
"This study indicates that we need to be much more aware of what we eat when we are stressed to avoid a faster development of obesity," said Professor Herbert Herzog, head of the Eating Disorders Laboratory at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in New South & Wales (NSW).
According to findings published in the journal Cell Metabolism, some people eat less when they are stressed but most will increase their food intake – And, overwhelmingly, the consumption of calorie-dense food is high in sugar and fat.
To understand what controls this eating stress, researchers have studied different areas of the brain in mice.
While food intake is largely controlled by a portion of the brain called the hypothalamus, another part of the brain – The amygdala – Processing emotional responses, including anxiety.
The scientists found that chronic stress alone increased insulin levels in the blood, but combined with a high-calorie diet, insulin levels were 10 times higher than those without stress and receiving normal nutrition.
"We were surprised that insulin had such a significant effect on the amygdala," said Professor Herzog.
"It is becoming increasingly clear that insulin not only affects the peripheral regions of the body but also regulates brain functions, and we hope to examine these effects in the future," Herzog added.
Indian-Asian news service