Can The Recession Make You Fat?

There’s been a lot of press recently about how the current economic situation is causing people to lose sleep. According to a recent National Sleep Foundation poll, 16% of Americans report losing sleep at least a few days in the past month due to the current financial situation. Another 15% are worried about the economy, and 10% are anxious about losing their jobs.

Lack of sleep for any reason and stress go hand in hand. One aggravates the other. Physiologic stress that develops as a result of inefficient sleep causes hormonal changes that can cause you to gain weight. Any external stresses such as psychological, emotional, or physical stress can also aggravate internal physiological stress.

When cortisol is increased due to stress, your appetite is increased for fatty and sugary foods, or "comfort" foods. This sets off a hormonal chain reaction where as you gain more weight, the fat cells in your throat can narrow slightly, aggravating any underlying breathing problems that I describe in my sleep-breathing paradigm. This perpetuates more sleep disruption and the vicious cycle continues.

Have you gained any weight recently since the recession began?

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