Stress can make you fat and fat can make you sick.

A new study shows that social stress can lead to heart disease by causing the body to deposit more fat in the abdominal cavity, speeding the harmful buildup of plaque in blood vessels, a stepping stone to the number one cause of death in the world. If we’re stressed, we tend to overeat, and that’s the start of the problem.

Researcher Carol A. Shively says, “We are in the midst of an obesity epidemic. Much of the excess fat in many people who are overweight is located in the abdomen, and that fat behaves differently than fat in other locations. If there’s too much, it can have far more harmful effects on health than fat located in other areas.”

Obesity can be linked to the recession as well. Both obesity and heart disease are linked to lower socioeconomic status. The people who have lost their jobs have fewer resources to buffer themselves from the stresses of life and are more likely to experience such health problems.

The release of stress hormones promote the deposit of fat in the stomach area, which leads to the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels, and that leads to heart disease, the leading cause of death in the world today.

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