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Unraveling the Stress-Eating-Obesity Knot (from IFJ Feb 2011)

Elevated stress is a risk factor for many things: cancer, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, to name a few. It can also influence our eating behaviors and lead to obesity. This course will summarize the state of the knowledge regarding how stress can lead to higher food consumption, fat accumulation in the midsection, weight gain and obesity, and how exercise can significantly mitigate the effects of stress and weight gain. Define stress and explain the difference between acute and chronic stress. Explain the physiological response of the body to stress. Discuss and describe stress-induced eating. Suggest several stress management strategies. Explain the association between exercise/mind-body practices and stress.

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