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Can Anxiety Cause Obesity?

The fight or flight side of anxiety increases the body’s metabolism, so you would expect it to cause those who live with anxiety disorders to struggle with weight loss instead of weight gain. However, there has been some evidence that suggests that the opposite may be true. Following is everything Boca Raton live-in caregivers need to know about this unusual correlation.


It’s not surprising that anxiety causes fatigue. But when seniors don’t get enough exercise, they cannot burn any calories. Weight gain is usually caused when seniors ingest more calories than they can burn off. Boca Raton home care providers recommend taking a walk with seniors to ease their stress and help reduce the risk of obesity.

Food as a Coping Mechanism

For some people with anxiety, eating helps them to cope with their heightened nervousness. This may be because eating releases endorphins that trigger the “feel good” centers of the brain. This causes people with anxiety to eat more, but the more they eat the more weight may be gained.

Anxiety Medications

Many medications prescribed to treat anxiety lead to weight gain. This could be due to the fact that they are depressants. Depressants can cause fatigue, which leads to inactivity that can cause obesity.

Increased Cortisol

Cortisol is well known as a stress hormone. When seniors are under extreme amounts of anxiety or stress, their bodies produce more of this hormone to help their bodies respond to the heightened stress levels. The increased levels of cortisol in the body cause fat to be stored in the stomach, which is a major contributing factor to obesity.

Digestive Changes

Anxiety changes the way our bodies digest food. It can slow the process of digestion considerably and interfere with our metabolisms. If this slowed digestion persists over a period of time, those with anxiety might notice an increase in weight gain.

It is unclear if anxiety leads to obesity, but those living with anxiety are 30 percent more likely to become obese. Help your loved one maintain healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle with Home Care Assistance in Boca Raton. We provide reliable Alzheimer’s, dementia and stroke care Boca Raton seniors need to age in place with dignity. Our trusted caregivers help seniors maintain healthy diets, physical exercise and social ties with friends and family to boost overall wellbeing. Contact us at (561) 826.9282 to schedule a free consultation today.