Some of us gain weight when under stress.
It is a response far more complex than keeping our hands or mouths busy. One type of chronic stress called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) elicits complicated hormonal developments.
Recently researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology observed rats exposed to stressors and found increases in circulating ghrelin, a hormone which enhances appetite. Also, the MIT scientists found a link between ghrelin and growth hormone. Find the study here at Molecular Psychiatry journal.
What this means for us: our body will defend against trauma in various ways which can eventually be nefarious if extra pounds are an outcome. Our care model for PTSD must include prevention (weight management, cognitive therapy) as well as mental health treatments.