Stress-induced eating and the relaxation response as a potential antidote: A review and hypothesis.

Author: Masih T1, Dimmock J2, Epel ES3, Guelfi KJ2
1The University of Western Australia, School of Human Sciences, WA 6009, Australia. Electronic address:
2The University of Western Australia, School of Human Sciences, WA 6009, Australia.
3University of California, Department of Psychiatry, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA.
Conference/Journal: Appetite.
Date published: 2017 Aug 5
Other: Pages: S0195-6663(17)30170-8 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.08.005. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 136

There is an accumulating body of evidence to indicate that stress leads to the consumption of unhealthy, energy-dense, palatable food, potentially contributing to the alarming global prevalence of chronic diseases, including obesity. However, comparatively little research has been devoted to addressing how best to remedy this growing problem. We provide an overview of the influence of stress on dietary intake, and then explore the novel, yet simple, possibility that regular elicitation of the relaxation response may effectively reduce stress-induced eating via both physiological and psychological pathways. If shown to be effective, the regular practice of relaxation may provide a convenient, cost efficient, patient-centered therapeutic practice to assist in the prevention of unhealthy weight gain and other negative consequences of unhealthy food intake.

Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

KEYWORDS: Appetite; Eating; Relaxation; Stress

PMID: 28789869 DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.08.005