Who are prone to stress eating, men or women?

Bhubaneswar: Stress is taking a toll on almost everyone due to various factors. And, one of the obvious symptoms is stress eating. Young girls and women often develop an abnormal appetite when low or stressed.  They unapologetically crave for an extensive amount of junk food like chocolates, ice-creams, and fries. For some, it becomes a stress-buster and some make it their rebound.

Ever wondered why men don’t go through such intense ‘stress-eating’ phases?

This is because, in women, anxiety of any kind is directly proportional to their body mass index (BMI) which is a measure of body fat based on the height and weight in adults.

After conducting an experiment to test the relation between anxiety and calorie intake pattern in men and women, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) published an article that accounted that an increase in anxiety increases the BMI in women. To balance this, their bodies crave for food containing heavy calories. That is why they consume junk food.

In the case of men, anxiety affects the overall macronutrient choices and not BMI. So, they don’t experience the calorie cravings.

Anxiety is a mental ill-health that occurs due to imbalance in certain chemical messengers in the brain called the ‘neurotransmitters’. Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), serotonin, dopamine, and epinephrine are the key neurotransmitters in the matter. Consumption of calories regulates the neurotransmitters thus, reducing anxiety in the person.

For the health-conscious people, here is a list of some healthy substitutes of junk food to curb anxiety:

  • Green Tea
  • Yogurt
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Chamomile tea
  • Bananas
  • Egg white and lean meat
  • Dairy products (Avoid if you are lactose intolerant)
  • Soya milk
  • Citrus fruits
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
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