Stress is unavoidable for many people. Most people get stressed out when there is uncertainty about future plans and goals. Some people get stressed out when things aren’t going the way they expected. Stress is defined as anything that poses a challenge or a threat to our well-being. Some stresses get people going, and that can be good for them, according to medicalnewstoday.com, a leading healthcare publication company.

For most college students, stress is inevitable. With finals week approaching, most students’ stress levels are rising. For college students, the few weeks before summer break can be the most harrowing. As final exams loom, students pull all-nighters and cram until the bitter end to raise their final grades, according to US News, a multi-platform publisher of news and information.

Stress can act as a burst of energy that basically advises people on what to do, and it can help people accomplish tasks more efficiently. It can even boost memory. Stress is also a vital warning system that produces the fight-or-flight response. When the brain perceives some kind of stress, it starts flooding the body with chemicals, such as epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol. This creates a variety of reactions, such as an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, according to Ulifeline.com, an online resource for college mental health.

There is some evidence that says stress prompts people to turn to sweet, high-calorie “comfort foods.” Now, scientists have confirmed a link between long-term stress and obesity, according to the New York Times. More than two in three adults are considered to be overweight or obese. More than one in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity. About one-third of children and adolescents ages six to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Plattsburgh State campus dining dietitian and event manager Jeff Vallee said that when he works with obese people, they look into addressing hypertension and to lose a few pounds. Vallee said there is a lot of stress management, but he focuses on the nutrition therapy side.

“On the nutrition therapy side, we try to incorporate physical activities such as going to the gym and lifestyle activities such as how many steps they take in a day,” Vallee said.

He said if someone increases his or her footsteps from 2,000 to 6,000 or 10,000, it adds a great impact to that person’s health. Vallee also said people should make sure they eat consistently for their specific nutritional needs.

Someone who is 115-lb needs approximately 1,752 calories a day to maintain weight. If that person is relatively inactive, they need 1,150 calories, according to livestrong.com, a site dedicated to helping people live longer, healthier and happier.

PSUC junior and digital and media production major Andreina Camejo said she agrees stress can sometimes link to obesity.

“Sometimes when people are stressed they overeat comfort food when they are not supposed to,” she said.

Camejo said she doesn’t stress eat, but she knows numerous people who do. She said people who stress eat should try and eat something that’s healthy or go to the gym. Camejo said they do some exercises in their room, if they cannot necessarily make time for the gym.

“You can look up exercises that you can do on your own, online,” Camejo said.

PSUC junior and political science major Jychaelle Bogard said she can see the correlation between obesity and stress because when she is stressed, she wants and eats sweets such as cookies and ice cream.

“I tend to take more breaks from assignments just to eat,” Bogard said.

Sarah E. Jackson, lead author and an epidemiologist at University College London, told the New York Times that while it may not be possible to eliminate stress, people may be able to find ways to control it. Even just being aware that stress might make them eat more can help.

Email Raheal Neequaye at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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