Stress and food intake: What's the deal with your meal?

M. S. Tryon, K. D. Laugero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Stress induces modification in both psychological and biological systems that have been associated with the onset of illness. Many of these changes are mediated through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis and the effects of its hormones. This review describes how the HPA response to psychological stress is affected by macro- and micronutrients, highlighting implications to stressinduced alterations in eating behaviour. The interrelationship between nutrition and food choice is evident and the effect of foods and food constituents compounds neuroendocrine and related psychological processes regulating the adaptation to stress. The nutritional differences between individuals exposed to stress may help to explain person-to-person variability in vulnerability to stress and stress-related eating habits and disease. More longitudinal studies are needed to examine the effects of whole foods, specific dietary constituents and dietary patterns on HPA responses to stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034
JournalCAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • CNS
  • Cortisol
  • Fat
  • HPA axis
  • Hypothalamus
  • Macronutrients
  • Micronutrients
  • Protein
  • Stress
  • Sugar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • veterinary(all)


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