Women, who have recently experienced one or more traumatic events or those who have undergone several negative events relatively in the past years, are at a higher risk of developing obesity, warns a new study.
Such events may also enhance cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer and contribute to spiralling healthcare costs.
The study, presented in the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017 in California, stated that the women who have gone through four or more negative life events had a 36 per cent higher risk of obesity, in comparison to women who reported no such events.
“Little is known about how negative and traumatic life events affect obesity in women. We know that stress affects behaviour, including whether people under- or overeat, as well as neuro-hormonal activity by in part increasing cortisol production, which is related to weight gain,” said Michelle A.
Albert, Professor at the University of California in San Francisco.
“This is important work because women are living longer and are more at risk for chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease.”
The researchers studied the relationship between major life events and obesity in a group of 21,904 middle-aged and older women.