A stressful event followed by eating high-fat foods can slow a woman's metabolism, which can lead to weight gain, a new U.S. study has found.
In the study, 58 women were asked about stressful events in their lives the day before they were given a meal consisting of 930 calories and 60 grams of fat.
On average, women who reported minor stress the day before burned 104 more calories than the women who admitted they had been stressed. The Ohio State University researchers said this difference could result in a weight gain of almost 11 pounds a year.
"We're more likely to eat the wrong foods when we're stressed, and our data say that when we eat the wrong foods, weight gain becomes more likely because we are burning fewer calories," researcher Jan Kiecolt-Glaser said in a release.
The study has been published in the journal Biological Psychiatry.