Harvard Business Review July 2009

How Stress Causes Weight Gain

Both men and women put on the pounds in response to work-related stress and difficulty paying bills, according to a longitudinal study published this month in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Men also gained weight because they felt they lacked decision authority or skill discretion (the ability to learn new skills and to choose to do new or different tasks) at work. For women, weight gain was also likely to be associated with a feeling of constraint in their lives in general and having difficulty with family relationships. During the 9.2 years of the study, men added an average of 1.37 kg/m2 to their body mass indices, while women added an average of 1.57 kg/m2.

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