Chronic Stress and Obesity: Psychology, Nutrition and Modern Lifestyle Behavior

A special issue of Medicina (ISSN 1648-9144). This special issue belongs to the section "Psychiatry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 2425

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Human Metabolism Research, Department of Dietetics, Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences (WULS-SGGW), 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
Interests: nutritional psychiatry; gut-brain axis; inflammation; personalized medicine; gut permeability; lifestyle psychiatry

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Guest Editor
Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of Bialystok, 15-269 Bialystok, Poland
Interests: clinical neurophysiology; smoking; eating disorders; biomarkers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Today’s society and lifestyles greatly affect human well-being. Chronic psychological stress is an integral part of our lives and has an adverse effect on our health. The mechanism linking psychological stress and chronic disease is closely related to our food choices and habits, leading to obesity. Furthermore, the relationship between psychological stress and excessive weight gain is multi-dimensional. Long-term stress can interact with genetic predisposition and affect the neuroendocrine response of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), epigenetic modulation and the gut microbiome environment to promote obesity. Chronic psychological stress also influences overall food intake. Chronic stress has been shown to be related the consumption of high amounts of refined sugars and saturated fatty acids, called “comfort food”. In the short term, this food helps decrease the emotional stress response; however, this increased intake of energy-dense foods leads to excessive weight gain, which is enhanced by biological responses to stressors. Excessive body weight has become a major public health concern in high-income countries. The number of deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) attributable to overweight and obesity doubled globally between 1990 and 2017. The risk factors of obesity are well known and include lifestyle behaviors such as physical activity, nutrition, alcohol drinking and sleep quality. Less understood is the interaction between these behaviors and chronic stress in obesity development.

This Special Issue aims to provide insight into the latest evidence of a relationship between chronic stress and obesity and the role of lifestyle in this bidirectional interaction.

Research articles and comprehensive reviews (not including systematic reviews) with a suggested minimum word count of 4000 words are invited. Papers prepared by multidisciplinary teams connecting various fields of science (e.g., psychology, sociology, nutrition, genetics, biochemistry and medicine) will be highly welcomed.

Therefore, we invite authors to submit manuscripts that address the connection between the psychological and nutritional effects of modern lifestyle behaviors.

Dr. Joanna Rog
Prof. Dr. Napoleon Waszkiewicz
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Medicina is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

 

Keywords

  • obesity
  • psychological stress
  • lifestyle behaviors
  • physical activity
  • quality of sleep
  • diet
  • nutrition
  • stress-reducing methods
  • yoga
  • meditation
  • wellbeing
  • lifestyle medicine

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 679 KiB  
Article
Leptin, Ghrelin, Irisin, Asprosin and Subfatin Changes in Obese Women: Effect of Exercise and Different Nutrition Types
by Elif Bengin, Abdurrahman Kırtepe, Vedat Çınar, Taner Akbulut, Luca Russo, İsa Aydemir, Polat Yücedal, Süleyman Aydın and Gian Mario Migliaccio
Medicina 2024, 60(7), 1118; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60071118 - 10 Jul 2024
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: In this study, the effects of a six-week training program and various diets on subfatin, asprosin, irisin, leptin, ghrelin and the lipid profile were investigated in overweight women. Materials and Methods: A total of 78 women voluntarily participated in the [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: In this study, the effects of a six-week training program and various diets on subfatin, asprosin, irisin, leptin, ghrelin and the lipid profile were investigated in overweight women. Materials and Methods: A total of 78 women voluntarily participated in the study. Groups: The study was divided into eight groups: Healthy Control, Obese Control, Obese + Vegetarian, Obese + Ketogenic, Obese + Intermittent Fasting, Obese + Exercise + Vegetarian, Obese + Exercise + Ketogenic and Obese + Exercise + Intermittent Fasting. While there was no intervention in the healthy and obese control groups, the other groups followed predetermined exercise and diet programs for 6 weeks. Blood samples were taken from the participants in the research group twice (before and after the interventions). An autoanalyzer was used to determine the lipid profile in the blood samples taken, and the ELISA method was used to analyze other parameters. Results: Overall, a significant difference was found in the values of weight, BMI, subfatin, ghrelin, leptin, cholesterol, triglyceride, HDL and LDL as a result of the exercise and diet interventions (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in asprosin and irisin values (p > 0.05). Conclusions: In conclusion, regular exercise and dietary interventions in obese women can regulate lipid profile, ghrelin, leptin and asprosin levels, and increasing irisin with exercise can activate lipid metabolism and support positive changes in lean mass. Full article
17 pages, 930 KiB  
Article
Overweight and Obesity Is Associated with Higher Risk of Perceived Stress and Poor Sleep Quality in Young Adults
by Antonios Dakanalis, Gavriela Voulgaridou, Olga Alexatou, Sousana K. Papadopoulou, Constantina Jacovides, Agathi Pritsa, Maria Chrysafi, Elena Papacosta, Maria G. Kapetanou, Gerasimos Tsourouflis, Marina Antonopoulou, Maria Mitsiou, Georgios Antasouras and Constantinos Giaginis
Medicina 2024, 60(6), 983; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60060983 - 14 Jun 2024
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: Overweight and obesity are growing public health challenges, particularly concerning young adults. University life presents a unique set of stressors that may influence weight management alongside sleep quality. In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to investigate the association between [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Overweight and obesity are growing public health challenges, particularly concerning young adults. University life presents a unique set of stressors that may influence weight management alongside sleep quality. In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to investigate the association between overweight or obesity, stress, and sleep quality in a large sample of Greek university students. Materials and Methods: The study recruited 2116 active students from across various Greek universities. Participants completed questionnaires on sociodemographics, academic performance, and physical activity levels using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Stress and sleep quality were assessed using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), respectively. Body weight and height were directly measured to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI). Results: Our analysis of 2116 Greek university students revealed significant associations between various factors and overweight/obesity. Compared to their rural counterparts, young adults in urban areas had an 88% higher prevalence of overweight/obesity (p = 0.0056). Regular smokers were twice as likely to be overweight or obese (p = 0.0012). Notably, those with low physical activity levels displayed a more than two-fold increased risk (p = 0.0008) compared to those with moderate or high activity levels. Similarly, students with moderate or high perceived stress levels had a more than two-fold prevalence of overweight/obesity compared to those with low stress (p = 0.0005). Inadequate sleep quality was also associated with an 86% higher risk of overweight/obesity (p = 0.0007). Interestingly, good academic performance showed a 57% greater prevalence of overweight/obesity compared to very good/excellent performance (p = 0.0103). Conclusions: Our findings reveal that perceived stress and poor sleep quality are significant risk factors for overweight and obesity in this young adult population. Full article
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Review

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16 pages, 674 KiB  
Review
Epigenetic and Coping Mechanisms of Stress in Affective Disorders: A Scoping Review
by Brenda-Cristiana Bernad, Mirela-Cleopatra Tomescu, Teodora Anghel, Diana Lungeanu, Virgil Enătescu, Elena Silvia Bernad, Vlad Nicoraș, Diana-Aurora Arnautu and Lavinia Hogea
Medicina 2024, 60(5), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60050709 - 25 Apr 2024
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Abstract
This review aims to explore the intricate relationship among epigenetic mechanisms, stress, and affective disorders, focusing on how early life experiences and coping mechanisms contribute to susceptibility to mood disorders. Epigenetic factors play a crucial role in regulating gene expression without altering the [...] Read more.
This review aims to explore the intricate relationship among epigenetic mechanisms, stress, and affective disorders, focusing on how early life experiences and coping mechanisms contribute to susceptibility to mood disorders. Epigenetic factors play a crucial role in regulating gene expression without altering the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) sequence, and recent research has revealed associations between epigenetic changes and maladaptive responses to stress or psychiatric disorders. A scoping review of 33 studies employing the PRISMA-S (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses—Statement) guidelines investigates the role of stress-induced epigenetic mechanisms and coping strategies in affective disorder occurrence, development, and progression. The analysis encompasses various stress factors, including childhood trauma, work-related stress, and dietary deficiencies, alongside epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation and altered gene expression. Findings indicate that specific stress-related genes frequently exhibit epigenetic changes associated with affective disorders. Moreover, the review examines coping mechanisms in patients with bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder, revealing mixed associations between coping strategies and symptom severity. While active coping is correlated with better outcomes, emotion-focused coping may exacerbate depressive or manic episodes. Overall, this review underscores the complex interplay among genetic predisposition, environmental stressors, coping mechanisms, and affective disorders. Understanding these interactions is essential for developing targeted interventions and personalized treatment strategies for individuals with mood disorders. However, further research is needed to elucidate specific genomic loci involved in affective disorders and the clinical implications of coping strategies in therapeutic settings. Full article
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