Atoms Overloading

Students binge eat when stressed and emotional

Jamileh Hamadeh and Rachel Shogren

As students approach their second month of the school year, they start experiencing some emotions that they have not had to deal with since last year. These feelings consist of being bored, sad, excited, happy, worried, or stressed. These emotions can cause students to stress eat.
Along with the new school year comes sports, homework, clubs, and other activities outside of school that students participate in. Juggling these busy schedules adds a lot of stress to a student’s life. If not dealt with properly, the student might resort to stress eating despite the many alternatives that can be used to deal with stress.
Many Annandale students have become prone to stress eating.
“When I get in my feels I like to eat ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s because it’s my favorite ice cream brand,” senior Allen Kokilananda said. “There is always a flavor for what mood I’m in. Cherry Garcia always serves as a great pick me up.”
Stress eating can lead to weight gain because typically, people that are stressed out tend to eat fat foods such as McDonalds or foods high in sugar like chocolate. It can throw off your diet schedule and lead to bad nutritional habits. This can also lead to long term health problems such as obesity or having high blood pressure because when stress eating is done too much you get in the habit and like the fat foods more and more.
Lack of sleep causes you to be more on edge and sensitive to emotions. It is another factor of stress because without sleep, our bodies cannot recharge or rest. A couple foods people eat when they’re stressed are hamburgers, french fries, chips, ice cream, candy, pizza, and cake.
“I stress eat all the time. I eat when I get upset or when I don’t feel good. It’s how I cope. Food is my friend, I love food. Everyone should eat when they are stressed,” senior Jessica Roop said.
Studies from Harvard medical school prove that stress causes adrenal glands to release a hormone called cortisol. The Cortisol is located under the ribs. Cortisol increases your appetite and the motivation to eat. If the stress is persistent, then the cortisol levels stay elevated. In order to prevent stress eating and to even out cortisol levels, it is important to de-stress and give yourself time to relax and have fun.
Although many people do eat when they are emotional or stressed, others don’t want to touch food.
“I don’t eat when I’m stressed or sad, I tend to not have an appetite,” senior Charlotte Getsey said.
When people get upset, they tend to lose their appetite or feel nauseous.
“I don’t stress eat when I’m sad or angry because my emotions are too prominent, and if I’m upset or angry my stomach feels nauseous,” junior Zain Ghul said.
There are many alternatives to dealing with stress, one of which is simply doing yoga. Head down to Spark Yoga in Mosaic District for classes that are occasionally held outside to de-stress. Another alternative is taking 10 minutes to yourself. This is important to do when you are stressed because everyone needs time alone to de-stress. You can take a walk, listen to music, or read a book. De-stressing can be fun especially when you find people who can do it with you.
Some people just get bored and start eating.
“Occasionally, when I’m bored I eat fruit because it’s something sweet,” Getsey said.
Things you can do with friends are to go see a movie, play a sport, or go try something new like hiking. Audrey Moore Rec Center has a plethora of classes that cover various different options. They range from pottery, swim, soccer, biking, and ballet. Stress levels will continue to rise over the next few months as school gets more intense, students need to make sure they find a healthy outlet for their stress. Be sure to find some way to cope, weather it is talking to friends or being active, over eating isn’t the answer.