link Between Stress and Obesity

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link Between Stress and Obesity

Examining how the link Between Stress and Obesity differs among Children and Adults

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Table of Contents

TOC o “1-3” h z u Abstract PAGEREF _Toc372559993 h iii1.0 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc372559994 h 12.0 Literature Review PAGEREF _Toc372559995 h 12.1 Area of research PAGEREF _Toc372559996 h 33.0 Research Question PAGEREF _Toc372559997 h 34.0 Significance of the research PAGEREF _Toc372559998 h 3References PAGEREF _Toc372559999 h 5

AbstractThis presents a research proposal of a study that aims at examining how the link between stress and obesity differs among children and adults. The study will be conducted on children aged between 5 and 14 years and adults aged between 25 and 60 years. The paper has four main sections. First, it presents a brief introduction to the study topic. This is followed by a detailed review of past literature that is related to the study topic. A research question and sub-questions follow the literature review. Finally, the paper explains in brief the significance of the research.

Key words: Stress, Obesity, Age, Children, Adults

1.0 IntroductionThe prevalence of obesity in most parts of the world has increased at a high rate over the last few decades. Numerous studies have suggested that stress is one of the environmental factors that lead to development of obesity (Moore & Cunningham, 2012). Most studies have shown that stress influences individuals to seek energy-dense foods or to engage in less healthier eating habits and hence, increasing the risk of developing obesity. The purpose of this paper is to examine how the relationship between stress and obesity differs among children and adults.

2.0 Literature ReviewThere are numerous studies that have explored the impact of stress on development of obesity. Some studies have found that the association between stress and obesity may differ based on gender. Almost all studies that have focused on the issue have found a stronger link between stress and obesity in women than in men. A recent study conducted by Williams et al (2013) investigated relationship between stress and obesity among adults above the age of 18 years in Australia. The study utilized a sample of 3,759 respondents with obesity and other illnesses associated with style. The researchers found perceived stress to have strong association with glucose metabolism among the respondents. Williams et al (2013) also found that the impact of glucose metabolism in men was lower than in women. Chauhan (2009) conducted a study that utilized normal and obese individuals to investigate the relationship between stress and obesity. Chauhan (2009) found the amount of stress among obese individuals to be significantly higher than in normal individuals. As well, the study revealed that the link between stress and obesity is stronger in women than in men.

Some studies have focused on the relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder and obesity. Perkonigg et al (2009) conducted a longitudinal study of different studies that have explored relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder and obesity. The researches sought to determine whether the link differs based on sex. The researchers concluded that post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the significant causes of obesity. The findings of the study also showed significant difference in the association between stress and obesity in male and in female. There was stronger relationship between stress and obesity in females than in male. Pagoto et al (2012) also investigated the relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder and obesity. The results supported the existence of link between post-traumatic stress disorder and obesity.

Scott et al (2012) investigated the relationship between chronic social stress and obesity by examining different reports and studies addressing the issue. The study showed similar findings to those that were derived in the studies highlighted above. Moore and Cunningham (2012) reviewed 14 studies assessing the link between social position, stress levels, eating habits and obesity. Moore and Cunningham (2012) found that individuals in higher status positions had lower stress levels, healthier eating habits and lower body weight. On the other hand, Individuals in lower status positions had higher stress levels, less healthy eating habits and higher body weight. Stronger link between stress and obesity was found in men than in women. Torres and Nowson (2007) examined the impact of stress on eating habits and influence in development of obesity. Torres and Nowson (2007) found a strong association between chronic stress and preference for energy-dense foods. The study found strong association between chronic stress and weight gain. However, unlike most other studies, Torres and Nowson (2007) found the link between chronic stress and obesity to be higher in men than in women.

Some studies have focused on relationship between stress and obesity in Children. Koch, Sepa and Ludvigsson (2008) found that psychological stress in families may be a major cause of obesity in children. A longitudinal study conducted by Harding et al (2011) showed that psychological stress in families is a major cause of obesity among children aged between 5 and 14 years.

2.1 Area of research

Generally, there are numerous studies that have found a positive link between stress and obesity. Also, there is vast literature that has examined how the relationship between stress and obesity differs based on gender. However, studies examining how the relationship between stress and obesity differs based on age are rare. This paper seeks to fill this gap by examining how the relationship between stress and obesity differs among children aged 5-14 years and adults aged between 25 and 60 years.

3.0 Research QuestionThis study will seek to answer the following main research question: Does the link between stress and obesity differ significantly among children and adults?

The paper will seek to answer the following three sub-questions:

Is there significant relationship between stress and obesity in children aged between 5 and 14 years?

Is there significant relationship between stress and obesity in Adults aged between 25 and 60 years?

Is the link between stress and obesity significantly different among children and adults?

4.0 Significance of the researchThis research will contribute significantly by augmenting the existing literature on the link between stress and obesity. The study will be useful in determining the effects of stress in families in the development of obesity in children and adults. Further, the findings of the research will augment knowledge of clinicians regarding the impact of stress in development of obesity in children and adults.

ReferencesChauhan, S. (2009). Stress and Obese: A Comparative investigation of Obese and Non-ObeseIndividuals. International Indexed & Refereed Journal, 1(49), 27

Harding, J. L. et al (2011). Psychosocial stress predicts incident obesity over 5 years: Evidence

from the longitudinal AusDiab study. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, 5, 31 – 32

Koch, F., Sepa, A. & Ludvigsson, J. (2008). Psychological stress and obesity. J Pediatr, 153(6),

839 – 844.

Moore, C. J & Cunningham, S. A. (2012). Social position, psychological stress, and obesity: a

systematic review. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 112(4), 518

Moore, Carla J and Cunningham, Solveig A. (2012). Social position, psychological stress, and

obesity: a systematic review. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 112(4), 518

Pagoto, S. L, Schneider, K. L, Bodenlos JS, Appelhans, B. M, Whited, M. C, Ma, Y. & Lemon,

S. C. (2012). Association of post-traumatic stress disorder and obesity in a nationally representative sample. Obesity (silver Spring), 20(1), 200-5.

Perkonigg, A., Owashi, T., Stein, M. B., Kirschbaum, C. & Wittchen, H. (2009). Posttraumatic

Stress Disorder and Obesity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 36(1), 1 – 8

Scott, K. A, Melhorn, S. J, & Randall, R. (2012). Effects of Chronic Social Stress on Obesity.

Current Obesity Reports, 1(1), 16 – 25

Torres, S. J & Nowson, C. A. (2007). Relationship between stress, eating behavior, and obesity.

Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 23(11-12), 887 – 894

Williams, E. D., Magliano, D. J., Tapp, R. J., Oldenburg, B. F. 7 Shaw, J. E. (1013).

Psychosocial stress predicts abnormal glucose metabolism: the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab) study. Annals of behavioral medicine: a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 46(1), 62 – 72

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