Why stress makes you fat 壓力為什麼能讓你變胖?

Stress can make you fat

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每天要面對來自生活、工作的壓力對於很多現代人來說已是家常便飯,但隨之而來的是由壓力引起的健康隱患,包括睡眠不足和心髒疾病等。你知道嗎,除此之外,壓力還可以使人的體重增加,甚至導致肥胖?本集《隨身英語》討論壓力可能讓人變胖的原因。

課文內容

Vocabulary: nutrition and health 詞彙:營養和健康

Have you ever had a stressful day? Many people do in the course of their daily lives. And on these high-pressure days, they might find themselves reaching for a sugary snack. Perhaps this is part of their daily routine. Or perhaps on this particular day, their self-control is a bit low and they feel compelled to take a sugar hit.

Stress is natural. That feeling of strain or pressure is a biological response, and under the right circumstances can be a great source of motivation. However, too much stress, especially chronic stress, has been linked to sleep disruption, a higher likelihood of a stroke, heart-attack, ulcer or depression, among other things.  But why should stress make a person comfort eat?

Dr Giles Yeo, a member of the BBC’s Trust Me, I’m a Doctor team, got together with scientists from Leeds University to conduct an experiment into the effect of stress on blood sugar. Dr Yeo was subjected to a stress test. In the first stage, he was forced to answer mathematical questions rapidly. In the second, he had to immerse his hand in a bath of ice-cold water for a period of time.

Before and after these tests, the Leeds scientists would measure Dr Yeo’s blood sugar levels. These are the levels which rise when we eat as our body takes in the energy of the food. In a healthy person, these levels quickly return to normal. However, when Dr Yeo was being deliberately subjected to stress, his blood sugar took six times longer to drop than on a stress-free day.

When we become stressed, our bodies enter ‘fight or flight’ mode. Because our body believes it’s under attack, it releases glucose into the blood to provide energy for muscles. However, if we don’t use that energy, our body then releases insulin to make the blood sugar levels drop. This drop causes a hunger response: you want to eat. And what you particularly crave is sugary food, which rapidly replenishes the energy you have lost. If this happens repeatedly, over a long enough period, these high-calorie foods can lead to obesity.

So what can we do to combat the stress? In an article for the BBC, Dr Michael Mosley recommends ‘stress-busting’ techniques, like exercise, gardening, mindfulness or another activities that you enjoy. But his strongest recommendation is trying to get a good night’s sleep. A recent study carried out by researchers at King’s College, London found that if you deprived people of sleep, they would consume, on average, an extra 385kcal per day, which is equivalent to the calories in a large muffin. So, try sleeping to decrease stress, and as a result make it easier to keep yourself a little trimmer.

詞彙表

sugary snack 含糖的零食
self-control 自制力
compelled 不得不地
a sugar hit 由糖帶來的一時的刺激
chronic stress 慢性壓力,長期不斷的壓力
sleep disruption 睡眠中斷
stroke 中風
heart-attack 心髒病發作
ulcer 潰瘍
depression 抑鬱,憂鬱
comfort eat 安慰性飲食
blood sugar 血糖
stress-free 無壓力的
glucose 葡萄糖
insulin 胰島素
high-calorie 高熱量的
obesity 肥胖
combat stress 克服、對抗壓力
stress-busting 減壓的
keep yourself trimmer 使你保持苗條身材

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. True or false: Stress is always negative.

2.  What has chronic stress been linked to?

3.  How much longer did it take Dr Yeo’s blood sugar to drop after the stress test than on a stress-free day?

4.  Why do we crave sugary food in particular when our blood sugar is low?

5.  How can we best combat stress?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1.  John! That’s more than enough chocolate now. You’ll be ill. Have some ______. 

sugary snack       self-control       blood sugar       high-calorie

2.  He’s a kleptomaniac. It means he’s ______ to steal. He can’t help it. It’s biological.

compelled       chronic       disruption       stress-free

3.  When my mother was pregnant, she really ______ figs.

stroke       depression       craved       combatted

4.  With the availability of cheap high-calorie foods, the UK now has a problem with ______.

chronic stress       sleep disruption       depression       obesity

5.  Since he broke up with her, Jane hasn’t stopped ______. She’s getting really big.

sugar hitting       heart-attacking       comfort eating       combatting stress

答案

1.
閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. True or false: Stress is always negative.
False. That feeling of strain or pressure is a biological response, and under the right circumstances can be a great source of motivation.

2. What has chronic stress been linked to?
It has been linked to sleep disruption, a higher likelihood of a stroke, heart-attack, ulcer or depression, among other things.

3. How much longer did it take Dr Yeo’s blood sugar to drop after the stress test than on a stress-free day?
When Dr Yeo was being deliberately subjected to stress, his blood sugar took six times longer to drop than on a stress-free day.

4. Why do we crave sugary food in particular when our blood sugar is low?
Sugary food rapidly replenishes the energy you have lost.

5. How can we best combat stress?
We can best combat stress by trying to get a good night’s sleep.

2. 
請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. John! That’s more than enough chocolate now. You’ll be ill. Have some self-control.

2. He’s a kleptomaniac. It means he’s compelled to steal. He can’t help it. It’s biological.

3. When my mother was pregnant, she really craved figs.

4. With the availability of cheap high-calorie foods, the UK now has a problem with obesity.

5. Since he broke up with her, Jane hasn’t stopped comfort eating. She’s getting really big.

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