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High professional demands make women fat - but men don't

High professional demands make women fat - but men don't


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Stress at work promotes obesity in women

A new study has shown that high professional demands contribute to weight gain in women. This relationship has not been confirmed in men. The researchers have not investigated the underlying causes of this, but assume that the double exposure at home and at work leads to women gaining more weight.

Stress at work can harm health

Many people are in constant stress at work. That endangers health. Because too much stress increases the risk of mental and physical illnesses such as depression or high blood pressure. Stressful working conditions also contribute to weight gain - but only for women, as researchers now report.

Unhealthy diet due to high stress

A few years ago, a US study was published that showed that permanent stress at work promotes unhealthy eating.

German scientists also found in a study that working people are more prone to snacks that are harmful to their health when stressed at work.

It is therefore not really surprising that high professional demands contribute to weight gain. But according to a new study, this is only the case for women.

No connection in men

According to a study by researchers from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), women who are exposed to severe mental stress at work are more likely to gain weight.

"We were able to determine that high professional demands contributed to the weight gain of women, while for men there was no connection between high demands and weight gain," said study author Sofia Klingberg from the University of Gothenburg in a message.

The study, published in the journal "International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health", included data from 3,872 subjects from Sweden who had taken part in a long-term study.

The women and men were interviewed three times over a period of 20 years regarding variables such as body weight and their situation in the workplace.

It was about questions about the pace of work, psychological pressure and whether there was enough time to complete tasks.

But also whether new things were learned in the job, imagination or advanced skills were required and whether the respondent could personally decide what to do and how to do it.

The authors can only speculate about the reasons

The results showed that those with little control of their work often gained considerable weight over the course of the study. There was no gender difference here.

However, long-term exposure to high professional demands only played a role for women.

Slightly more than half of the women who were exposed to high demands experienced significant weight gain during the study period. This was about 20 percent higher than among women with low work demands.

The researchers can only speculate as to why this is so. "We have not investigated the causes, but it is conceivable that it is a combination of professional requirements and greater responsibility for the home that women often assume," said Klingberg.

"This may make it difficult to find time to exercise and live a healthy life."

According to the researchers, the study is also relevant to public health given the problems associated with work-related stress.

The scientists believe that identifying and reducing stress-sensitive groups would not only reduce weight gain, but also reduce the incidence of diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. (ad)

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