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Stressed couple

Stress and Obesity

Being overweight is already associate with many health risks. People who are obese have a higher risk for developing Type II diabetes, heart disease and fatty liver disease. Now, new studies are showing that obese people who are exposed to repeated high stress situations may have their health impacted more than their lean counterparts.

Stress Causes Changes In The Body

When a person experiences a stressful situation, their body will produce more of the protein called interleukin-6. This protein is associated with causing inflammation in the body. Inflammation, in turn, can cause health problems including heart and liver disease and the onset of Type II diabetes.

Researchers wanted to know if obese people experienced higher levels of this protein during stressful situations. What they discovered was astounding.

The Obesity Stress Study

Researchers divided people into two group: those who were considered obese and those who were not. Each group gave a blood sample before the test began to check protein levels. Participants in both groups were then placed into the exact same stressful situations and provided a blood sample when they were through.

After the test, the interleukin-6 protein was elevated in both groups, but the participants that were considered obese had a significantly higher increase.

What was astounding was day two of the test. The same participants arrived at the test the very next day. Blood samples were taken prior to the test and then again afterwards. What was found was that the before samples of the obese participants were still at the elevated levels that was registered the day before and after their test, their levels rose even higher. The non-obese patients saw a return to normal levels before the test and only a very slight increase at the end of the second day.

What These Results Mean

The end results show that people who are considered obese have a much harder time physically recovering from stressful situations and that repeated stress could be damaging to their health. Additionally, this test shows that the higher the BMI was on the test subject, the higher the protein increase was after being exposed to stress. This also indicates that the more body fat you carry the worse it is for your overall health.

Since it is impossible to always keep yourself from being placed into stressful situations, it would be the best choice for your health to loose unwanted weight. Loosing this weight can protect your health in so many ways, including how you physically react to stress.