Study: Stress eating linked to extra pounds in women

Whopper from Burger King. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Had a stressful day? You might want to drop that burger.

It's called comfort food for a reason. After a stressful day at the office, a greasy burger with cheese might be exactly what you're craving.

But you may want to reconsider that meal. A new study suggests that indulging in high-fat foods after a stressful situation could cause you to pack on the pounds.

Researchers at Ohio State University studied 58 healthy women, measuring their stress levels and offering high-fat meals. The meals included 930 calories and 60 grams of fat, which is close to what's in a Burger King double Whopper with cheese.

It turns out that stressful situations, an argument with a spouse, or a conflict at work caused the women to metabolize high-fat meals more slowly.

In other words -- stressful situations can really take a toll on women's ability to burn calories. And if stress is a daily ordeal, those calories can add up to as many as 11 pounds in a year

So next time you're feeling frazzled be careful what you reach for. Or the next thing you'll be stressing over is that number on the scale.
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