Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Depression makes girls fat

The body releases cortisol in reaction to stress, and it can cause all sorts of permanent brain changes*. In girls but not in boys, depression can cause an increase in cortisol, which leads to obesity.
Although it is not clear why high cortisol reactions translate into obesity only for girls, scientists believe it may be due to physiological and behavioral differences -- estrogen release and stress eating in girls -- in the way the two genders cope with anxiety.
Damn. Boys win again. Pass the Haagen-Daz.

The solution is to notice if a little girl is depressed and do something about it before it makes her irremediably fat.

*Yeah, I know the brain is godawful complicated, and it may well be possible one day to figure out how to reverse the things cortisol does, but we can't now, so it is effectively permanent in individual cases.

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