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Appetite. 2011 Feb;56(1):194-204. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2010.11.001. Epub 2010 Nov 9.

Relationship between perceived stress and dietary and activity patterns in older adults participating in the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study.

Author information

1
U.S. Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Services, Western Human Nutrition Research Center, Obesity and Metabolism Research Unit, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA. kevin.laugero@ars.usda.gov

Abstract

Previous research supports a relationship between psychological stress and chronic disease in Puerto Rican adults living in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Stress may affect health by influencing dietary and physical activity patterns. Therefore, perceived stress and two hypothesized mediators of stress-related food intake, insulin and cortisol, were examined for possible associations with dietary and activity patterns in >1300 Puerto Ricans (aged 45-75 years; 70% women) living in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Data were analyzed using multiple linear regression and ANCOVA. Greater perceived stress was associated with lower fruit, vegetable, and protein intake, greater consumption of salty snacks, and lower participation in physical activity. Stress was associated with higher intake of sweets, particularly in those with type 2 diabetes. Cortisol and stress were positively associated in those without diabetes. Cortisol was associated with higher intake of saturated fat and, in those with diabetes, sweet foods. Independent of diabetes, perceived stress was associated with higher circulating insulin and BMI. Our findings support a link between stress, cortisol, and dietary and activity patterns in this population. For high-sugar foods, this relationship may be particularly important in those with type 2 diabetes. Longitudinal research to determine causal pathways for these identified associations is warranted.

PMID:
21070827
PMCID:
PMC5012221
DOI:
10.1016/j.appet.2010.11.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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