Nutrition and Stress-Eating Essay

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Stress is often linked with affecting many internal and external aspects of our lives. We often associate the phrase ‘one thing led to another’ with stress as this is often the case. It can lead to us leading unhealthy lifestyles, and unhealthy eating is at the core of this. Whether we eat too much or too little, it is still defined as unhealthy. The definition of health is ‘A state of complete physical, social and mental well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ In order to maintain a complete state of health we need to focus on our nutrition or what we put in to our mouths on a daily basis. Whether we chose to pour our stress levels in to eating too much, or too little- both can lead to worryingly dangerous consequences, putting our bodies under even more physical stress.

Particular foods are crucial for our bodies, and enable us to maintain a balanced diet and these are fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains (Olphin/Hesson, 2007).

People regularly associate eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia with external or internal stressors in their lives. Whether it is a job, school or even their perception of themselves, it is easy to pour emotions in to a simple action such as eating. When our bodies experience an acute stress and our body initiates the fight or flight response, our appetites are suppressed (Torres, 2007). When people think of stress eating, they tend to affiliate it with over eating, or ‘comfort eating’ as some refer to it as. Eating things we like releases a chemical called dopamine in our body, meaning that you can become almost addicted to that feeling, without realising the effect it may be having on our body; before it’s too late (Olphin/Hesson, 2007). One of the cont...

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...ut around the world, problems such as this need to be properly addressed. It is crucial that children are taught at a young age the importance of having a healthy balanced diet and the effect it can have on their bodies so that when particular stressors in life become a problem, they are able to deal with them in a safe and sensible manner.

Works Cited
Torres, Susan and Nowson, Caryl 2007-11, Relationship between stress, eating behavior and obesity, Nutrition, vol. 23, no. 11-12, pp.887-894.
Zellner, D., Loaiza, S., Gonalez, Z., Pita, J., Morales, J., Pecora, D., & Wolf, A. (2006). Food selection changes under stress. Psychology and Behavior, 87, 798-793.
Stress Management for Life: A Research-Based, Experimental Approach by Michael Olphin and Margie Hesson

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