Stress adversely affects our lives in multiple ways.
Children too are no exception. A new research has revealed that kids living in
stressful and anxious environment are vulnerable to developing obesity.
that children exposed to stressful environment should be taught stress
management techniques to remain physically active and healthy.
conducted the study at Penn State and John Hopkins University and evaluated the
stress levels in kids and how it influenced their chances of gaining weight and
becoming obese. The study was published in Appetite Journal.
In order to examine
stress levels, the scientists asked children to carry out mathematical task or
deliver speeches. Subsequently their saliva samples were tested in laboratory
for cortisol level. Cortisol is the stress hormone and is secreted by human
body in stressful situations.
collection the kids were asked to play or eat and they were provided with toys
approximately 'consumed as low as 250 kilocalories and as high as 700
kilocalories during the same time'.
Professor Lori Francis,
the Associate Professor of biobehavioral health said, "We found that older
kids, ages 8 to 11, who exhibited greater cortisol release over the course of
the procedure had significantly higher body-mass indices [BMI] and consumed
significantly more calories in the absence of hunger than kids whose cortisol
levels rose only slightly in response to the stressor. We also found that kids
whose cortisol levels stayed high-in other words, they had low recovery-had the
highest BMIs and consumed the greatest number of calories in the absence of
mentioned, "Our results suggest that some children who are at risk of
becoming obese can be identified by their biological response to a stressor.
Ultimately, the goal is to help children manage stress in ways that promote
health and reduce the risks associated with an over- or under-reactive stress
The experts said that
people with emotional issues in their childhood, especially females are more
susceptible to developing heart ailments during their middle-age.
According to Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) around 17 percent of kids in the
United States or 12.5 million teenagers and children are affected by weight
gain or obesity.
The scientist concluded that other factors such
as poverty or deprivation of proper livelihood, scarcity of food and violent
environment at homes can make children vulnerable to developing weight and