Comfort food is comforting to those most stressed: evidence of the chronic stress response network in high stress women
Language: 
English
Short Title: 
Comfort food is comforting to those most stressed
Abstract: 

Chronically stressed rodents who are allowed to eat calorie-dense "comfort" food develop greater mesenteric fat, which in turn dampens hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis activity. We tested whether similar relations exist in humans, at least cross-sectionally. Fifty-nine healthy premenopausal women were exposed to a standard laboratory stressor to examine HPA response to acute stress and underwent diurnal saliva sampling for basal cortisol and response to dexamethasone administration. Based on perceived stress scores, women were divided into extreme quartiles of low versus high stress categories. We found as hypothesized that the high stress group had significantly greater BMI and sagittal diameter, and reported greater emotional eating. In response to acute lab stressor, the high stress group showed a blunted cortisol response, lower diurnal cortisol levels, and greater suppression in response to dexamethasone. These cross-sectional findings support the animal model, which suggests that long-term adaptation to chronic stress in the face of dense calories result in greater visceral fat accumulation (via ingestion of calorie-dense food), which in turn modulates HPA axis response, resulting in lower cortisol levels.

Author(s): 
Tomiyama, A. Janet
Dallman, Mary F.
Epel, Elissa S.
Item Type: 
Journal Article
Publication Title: 
Psychoneuroendocrinology
Journal Abbreviation: 
Psychoneuroendocrinology
Publication Date: 
2011-11
Publication Year: 
2011
Pages: 
1513-1519
Volume: 
36
Issue: 
10
ISSN: 
1873-3360
DOI: 
10.1016/j.psyneuen.2011.04.005
Library Catalog: 
NCBI Published Medical (?)
Extra: 
PMID: 21906885 PMCID: PMC3425607

Turabian/Chicago Citation

A. Janet Tomiyama, Mary F. Dallman and Elissa S. Epel. 2011-11. "Comfort food is comforting to those most stressed: evidence of the chronic stress response network in high stress women." Psychoneuroendocrinology 36: 10: 1513-1519. 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2011.04.005.

Wikipedia Citation

<ref> {{Cite journal | doi = 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2011.04.005 | issn = 1873-3360 | volume = 36 | pages = 1513-1519 | last = Tomiyama | first = A. Janet | coauthors = Dallman, Mary F., Epel, Elissa S. | title = Comfort food is comforting to those most stressed: evidence of the chronic stress response network in high stress women | journal = Psychoneuroendocrinology | date = 2011-11 | pmid = | pmc = }} </ref>