Does Stress Make Us Crave Bad Food?

Does Stress Make Us Crave Bad Food?

You’ve had a terrible week, you’re stressed
out, sad, angry at the world. If you’re like a lot of people, you might
turn to food. Hey folks, Laci Green here for Dnews. Emotional eating, or stressed eating, is basically
when you to feed a feeling instead of eating to feed your tummy. Everyone will do it at some point or another
but it’s something that definitely affects some people in more serious ways than others. Common wisdom says that when we’re stressed
out, we turn to comfort foods, fatty foods, delicious-sweet-salty and not-so-good-for-your-body
foods. This week, a new study done at UCLA, is trying
to discount that idea. The researchers took 59 MBA students and surveyed
them about their eating habits. Then, during midterm exams, they offered them
a broad assortment a fine snacks to choose from. Some are on the healthy side like fruit, yogurt
and wheat crackers. Others were on the not so healthy side like
candy bars, chips and cookies. They found that the snacks students picked
were the snack closest to what they usually eat. Health-conscious students picked healthy snacks
and those with poor diets picked unhealthy snacks. The lead psychologist on this study, David
Neal, claims that when we’re stressed out, habits determine our food choices, not craving. But I’m not so sure about that. Something
is a little fishy to me here, guys. This claim contradicts all the other research
on the topic and it’s also worth mentioning that the study was presented at a food technologist
conference and isn’t a peer-reviewed. So Harvard Medical School claims that when
we’re stressed out, we do gravitate toward unhealthy foods. Carbs and fat have the effect of activating
the reward centers in the brain and inhibiting stress feedback. It’s a soft little, “SShh. Here just feel
good for a second.” And it works. The Journal of Physiology and Behavior found
that many people eat more and tend to more caloricly dense foods when they’re stressed
out. Possibly because of a pesky little hormone
called Ghrelin and that’s released when you’re stressed. This is one of the ways that stress can lead
to weight gain. Why it’s so hard to lose weight when you’re stressed. And it also hints at a relationship between
obesity and stress levels. Some scientists have said that America’s obesity
epidemic is actually a stress epidemic. So no, stress doesn’t always lead to emotional
eating even in people who are emotional eaters. Some people have the opposite reaction and
certainly in the short term, stress can kill an appetite. There is no stranger feeling and looking at
a delicious plate a food and being unable to stomach it because you’re so worried or
nervous about something. This happens because stress at the fight-or-flight
nature can cause your hypothalamus produce Corticotropin-releasing hormone, or CRH, which
suppresses appetite. It’s more in the long term constant stress
that leads to overeating and the cravings. So do eating habits play any role in our stressed
out food choices? I’m sure they do, but that doesn’t mean that
stress cravings aren’t a thing. Let me know what you guys think down below
or on Twitter at @dnews and I’ll see you next time.

98 thoughts on “Does Stress Make Us Crave Bad Food?”

  1. i love food so much and when i m stressed i dont eat and i get bummed out about not eating and then i become lazy and just wannna sleep

  2. If your not eating that's not becoming lazy, you literally aren't getting enough energy to do stuff. Don't let it make you feel guilty, controlling your bodies reaction to stress is a drawn out and difficult process. The best thing to do short term is try to drink high energy drinks whenever you get thirsty, but not stuff with stimulants in, they'll only make you crash

  3. I'm the opposite, I actually lose weight when I'm stressed out, and it is a really bad thing because I don't need to lose weight…at all

  4. There's surprisingly not that many boob comment! I think we might have found the mature side of YouTube.. …. Might.

  5. Jessica West-Sanchez

    Stress/emotional eating is caused by emotional hunger, and it's just as important as physical hunger. There is no such thing as "bad" food, and everything is healthy in moderation. I definitely think that the "obesity epidemic" is partially a "stress epidemic" but it also has other factors (most of which aren't food related).

  6. Another thing to think about is how often people reach for convenience foods when feeling stressed. When we are stressed, sometimes we don't want to cook and get fast foods and prepackaged foods-it's often easier to reach for a bag of potato chips than to prepare a healthy meal/snack from scratch. So perhaps this is something else that needs to be considered in studies that correlate stress with choosing unhealthy foods.

  7. Does Stress Make Us Crave Bad Food? Not really, the fats in bad (fast) food are addicting. A tiny bit get's stored in the brain, the same way heroin gets stored in the brain.

  8. officialpartychannel

    Funny how they used a stock diet photo at 1:05 instead of a healthy snack. if you cant think of one, its fruit. im also offended by the media in general when they show the bad example done by a brown skinned person and then they show the good example, who has a light skin colour. im unsubscribing, because Dnews is doing this as well. i was expecting more of them.

  9. monosodiumglutamate and its friends… while marketers and big companies put carcinogens in our foods, medicine and science race to find a cure for cancer. Yes, science is most every time the good guy, but guess who funds the reseach largely? strange world 😉

  10. I don't think Anthony or Trace have them either, since we never see them! Although, I suspect a lot of people that come here don't really much care if Laci has a lack of shins.

  11. It's psychological. Like Pavlov's Theory. Eating yummy junk food gives you a happy feeling. So you associate eating with that happiness. Therefore, when you feel upset and in need of some comfort, you know eating your favorite snack with do that for you. Exactly like drugs & alcohol. You know how when you see that junkie on Intervention shooting up & you wonder how they can stick themselves with needles so much? They associate that feeling with the euphoric high they get.

  12. Jessica West-Sanchez

    McDonald's is not poison, and yes it is healthy in moderation. Just how one hamburger doesn't make a person fat, one salad doesn't make a person skinny. No specific food is to blame, it's the habits that are unhealthy and cause bad health.

  13. I honestly believe people are too stressed. Almost everyone I know is expected to work their 40 hours a week, then do extra things on top of that. Their is no time for hobbies, family or relaxation. The worst part is that raises are scarce now and pay rates are falling behind costs to live which has these same overworked people struggling just to have the basics to be productive in America, like car or internet access. I don't know about you, but everyone I see is becoming poor.

  14. When I was a student, if someone offered me free food, I'd probably go for the most expensive. (Which would probably be the healthy stuff, because society is dumb like that).

  15. Too many boob comments, but that shirt also demonstrates your bad posture, Laci!! Do a D News on osteoporosis or something. Just worried 'bout ya lady.

  16. it takes approximately 51 (!) days for the human body to process even a single gram (!) of trans fats! Now, in mcfries mcshit etc is a lot of that stuff. A calorie is really NOT just a calorie. do research. I have. fructose singled out, for example, is very dangerous to the liver in hfcs etc. but perfectly safe in fruit (fiber/water/sugar combo ratio) even in huge amounts. btw: experience talking!!

  17. Dude, most of the things on mcdonalds menu have 0 grams of trans-fat, but the ones that do have a max of 2.5 grams (which is the Double Quarter Pounder® with Cheese++).

  18. yeah they've been regulating it now. but what about HFCS, MSG, GMOs, etc… and the fact that french fries don't go moldy for years! I mean, you can eat there, if you like, just don't get fooled by them and their "health campain" where they put a piece of fruit (small apple) in your saturated, processed, refined "happy meal". and I'm no dude o.0

  19. Does it look like I care? Everything fucking shortens our lifespans, FUCKING OXYGEN KILLS. What am i supposed to do? Stop eating, breathing, and living in general? I'll eat whatever I fucking want, when i want, because in the end, a happy life is a good life.

  20. I really don't care about your nutrition in any way, this is a thing you have to decide for yourself, what bugs me are those victims of the system always on the easy way out saying it's impossible to live a healthy lifestyle today. that's so not true. I have an extremely healthy lifestyle and am happier than ever, not that you care, but don't go round promoting lies like it has to concern nobody, that just classifies you as a perfectly fitting-in puppet on the string. it's ok. and now repeat..

  21. Disagree…..Do a cheap at home experiment and see if you still maintain that position. Go to McDonalds and buy a cheeseburger. Put it somewhere in your house and leave it there for a year. Feel free to check on it from time to time.

  22. Sodium and sugar plays major factors in 'feeding' stress. I agree tho that common healthy eating habits, aid in reducing stress but keeping oneself occupied via positive therapy such as 'awareness w/ oneself in his/her surroundings', helps reduce the factors.
    An overall healthy routine, is only the beginning…

  23. I'm pretty sure the simplest answer would be no, it does not make us crave bad food. Most people don't differentiate between bad and good, actually they already prefer the bad. Stress just makes us care less about what we eat.

  24. I think it's because the long term stress is waiting for something risky or bad to happen, So you eat fatty foods trying to build up fat and strength basically.

    Kind of like getting ready for winter.

  25. no, I will not shut "uop", because I, too, am one of these fucking annoying persons who just won't bend the system and be a good consumer. I will continue pointing towards marketing mindgames and the siarvation of millions of 3rd world country humans because all their water goes into YOUR meat production, because someone who listenes might just actually care. You can continue insulting me now, if you please, because I'm sure the system will be veery proud of you. Have a nice day.

  26. Its not even healthy in moderation.Seriously, fast food is not fucking healthy.The notion of you trying to combine fast food with health is so counter-intuitive you would think its common knowledge. I agree with your second part of bad habits but come on. If you live in America, have fun shopping healthier and finding items without high fructose corn syrup etc.This country runs off fat.Pure un-adulterated saturated fat.

  27. hey Laci i have this one friend who is so skinny and I think he's underweight but can eat a ton of junk food but isn't putting on weight, how is this possible?

  28. Ive always wondered about something. all my life ive had trouble eating alot of things,even to the point i starve myself for a few days so i dont eat something and accidently throw it up thus wasting food and money. Sometimes i will eat something,enjoy it then moments later i will feel like throwing up for no reason. Its upsetting when you cant eat something without fear you might waste it. What could be the reason behind this D-News? Ive been like this my whole life and my diet is not good

  29. uhhh thats called a hi metabolism, his body use up alot of energy, he needs food for the energy, thus its harder for him to gain weight,since his body just burns it up really fast

  30. Try to get him to eat around 4000 calories a day (from lean protein and carbs). Sounds like he has a high metabolism. He should build up muscle. And tell him not to eat junk food!

  31. Yep, after having a bad day and then I want to eat a bunch of pies. Like Mr Kipling blackcurrant and apple pies, put them in the microwave until the jam starts to bubble, then pour cold custard all over them, gives a nice hot and cold pleasure to the experience. Stop me now if I should but my god… I do love those Mr Kipling pies.

  32. Jessica West-Sanchez

    Try forming your own opinion and doing some research of your own instead of just regurgitating the same old BS that society likes to shove down people's throats.

  33. Part of the plan. Stressful world, cheap and deathly delicious food readily available everywhere you turn, gradual health problems, hospitals make the money. It's the new world order maaaan.

  34. Tadas Armonavičius

    I like to snack on anything with strong flavor when I'm stressed… and I still loose weight (I'm 1,78m and weigh 65kg normally so that kinda worries me)

  35. Hmmm… the choice between "meh" tasting fruits or "MMmmm" tasting cookies and chips seems kinda obvious, even if you're not stressed. Unless you're one of the "Oh noes, gotta make sure I don't get fat."

  36. those edits (presumably between takes) where the camera didn't change zoom, or go to a slide were really distracting form what laci was saying…

  37. I think a lot of this is just wishful thinking. I'm sure a lot of obese Americans would love to blame their bad diet on stress instead of taking responsibility for it. 

  38. ღMarsh I Mellowsღ

    I stress eat, and it's become a massive problem.  I'm not obese, nor am I overweight, but I want the thigh-gap and all that…  It's a struggle to diet simply because my life tends to be overly stressful.  I was once sent off to a place, in fact, due to my stress levels.  I've had therapists try and tell my family to stop putting stress on me, but they never dial it down~!  Nothing gets through their thick skulls.  I tend to stress eat EVERY DAY.  I try my best to fight it, but I always end up doing it in the long run.  I never feel hunger when at school or on vacation, but this ALWAYS happens at home.  If I get this stressed at twelve, just imagine how hazardous this could become to my health as I age.

  39. Or it could also be an evolutionary cue, possibly from our reptilian brain or the less evolved part of our brain trying to ensure a sense of security or physiological reassurance. In a way this would make sense as stress 10, 000 years ago there were often 1 of two things that caused us distress- food scarcity or a potential predator. Perhaps when our bodies are experiencing stress, we tend to crave foods with a higher fat content as a way of conserving energy, as well, chronic stress can lead to weight loss.

  40. This video was very thought-provoking. Even though it had conflicting research results, several different studies were presented. Thanks so much!

  41. There are many ways to contol stress. but one of the best way is that contolling by taking good food. Click here to know more stress reducing foods @

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