A vicious circle of stress
Getting fatter can potentially trigger the stress response, which in turn encourages additional weight gain.
"When you go up in weight, your body also comes under stress. That probably has a self-reinforcing effect – so you get even fatter," Foss explains.
But dieting can also stimulate cortisol production, which in turn may trigger the stress response and thereby counter the weight loss.
"Should our hypothesis turn out to be correct, it would mean that you'll have to break this stress pattern if you want to halt the weight increase," says Foss.
The paper is in medical hypotheses....
Stress in obesity: Cause or consequence?
Obesity is a global public health challenge that increases the risk of various diseases including type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension and cancer, and will in the future cause further increases in the incidence of chronic disease. Understanding the mechanisms of obesity is critical if we are to prevent and treat this pandemic challenge. Diet and physical activity have traditionally been the major tasks in preventing and treating obesity. However, other mechanisms are now also being considered in the quest for knowledge and understanding of obesity, including the body’s stress system and cortisol release. While it seems evident that stress is a cause of obesity, whether stress is also a consequence of obesity has up to now only briefly been discussed. The aim of this article is to elucidate how stress and obesity might be linked and discuss the cause/consequence relationship between the stress response and obesity. Our hypothesis is that stress and obesity interfere by positive feedback. This may be an important issue in both our understanding and coping of obesity.