Last month, researchers found that rats exposed to heightened levels of stress during their first few days of life are more likely to be prone to anxiety and stress in later life, and prefer to consume sugary and high-fat foods.
The study was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB).
Adult rats that experienced stressful neonatal environments are more likely to feel stressed and seek “comfort” foods throughout adulthood.
My take – you don’t have much control over your own neonatal experience, but this study confirms a very subconscious link between stress and cravings. This calls into question our usual strategy of dieting to lose weight (as dieting in inherently stressful for the body). It also confirms the importance of including stress-relieving activities in your quest for health and weight-loss, like yoga, meditation, just plain relaxation.