Stressful home situations or working at a job that makes you crazy can lead to weight gain over time, according to a new study from Ohio State University.

The study involved 58 women, average age 53, who were questioned about their prior day’s stressful events before being given a high-fat meal of 930 calories and 60 grams of fat (equivalent to a quarter pounder with cheese and bacon plus fries). Afterward, researchers measured the women’s metabolic rates (the time it took for them to burn calories and fat). Blood sugar, insulin and the stress hormone cortisol were among the parameters measured.

The participants who reported one or more stressful situations during the previous 24 hours burned 104 fewer calories than the non-stressed women in the seven hours after eating the high-fat meal. This difference adds up to a potential weight gain of an alarming 11 pounds a year.

“Keep in mind, however, we don’t know if differences in activity level might have contributed to the results of this study,” says Dr. Brian Quebbemann, founder of the N.E.W. Program in Newport Beach, Calif., who was not part of the study. “Regardless, stress has been long known …read more

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