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Nutrients 2018, 10(2), 176; doi:10.3390/nu10020176

A Role for Exercise in Attenuating Unhealthy Food Consumption in Response to Stress

School of Human Sciences, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
Auckland University of Technology, Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ), Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 November 2017 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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It is well established that both acute and chronic stress can be detrimental to health and wellbeing by directly increasing the risk of several chronic diseases and related health problems. In addition, stress may contribute to ill-health indirectly via its downstream effects on individuals’ health-related behaviour, such as promoting the intake of unhealthy palatable foods high in fat and sugar content. This paper reviews (a) the research literature on stress-models; (b) recent research investigating stress-induced eating and (c) the potential physiological and psychological pathways contributing to stress-induced eating. Particular attention is given to (d) the role of physical exercise in attenuating acute stress, with exploration of potential mechanisms through which exercise may reduce unhealthy food and drink consumption subsequent to stressor exposure. Finally, exercise motivation is discussed as an important psychological influence over the capacity for physical exercise to attenuate unhealthy food and drink consumption after exposure to stressors. This paper aims to provide a better understanding of how physical exercise might alleviate stress-induced unhealthy food choices. View Full-Text
Keywords: psychological stress; exercise; physical activity; food choices; energy intake; appetite psychological stress; exercise; physical activity; food choices; energy intake; appetite

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Leow, S.; Jackson, B.; Alderson, J.A.; Guelfi, K.J.; Dimmock, J.A. A Role for Exercise in Attenuating Unhealthy Food Consumption in Response to Stress. Nutrients 2018, 10, 176.

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