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Childhood Stress Can Cause Weight Gain in Women

From the Show: HER
Summary: Stress can be found in children as much as adults and can actually be to blame for weight gain later in life.
Air Date: 7/16/15
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pam Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Hui Liu, PhD, MS
Hui LiuHui Liu is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Michigan State University. Before joining MSU in 2008, she received her B.A. and M.A. in economics from Nankai University, China, her M.S. in Statistics, and Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Liu's current research interests include population health and mortality, family and marriage, bio-demography of aging and the life course, LGBT population, sexuality, and quantitative methodology. Specifically, Dr. Liu has focused on using innovative quantitative methods to develop, test, and promote scientific understanding of marriage and family processes related to population health and well-being.
Childhood Stress Can Cause Weight Gain in Women
Stress can be found everywhere, but when you think you think of stress, you might think of work, relationships and finances.

However, children can experience just as much as stress as adults... they typically just deal with it differently.

In a recent study, researchers from Michigan University looked at childhood stress and how it plays a major role in weight gain for women (and not so much men). They looked at a national survey where 3,617 participants were interviewed four times in a 15-year period.

Researchers measured reactions to a range of family-related stressors that occurred at the age of 16 or younger (divorce, economic hardship, a parent with a mental health problem, not knowing their father/mother, etc.).

Results showed that women who experienced high levels of stress in childhood gained weight faster than women who experienced little-to-no stress during childhood.

What can parents do to help ease stress in children, particularly young girls?

Dr. Hui Liu shares the findings of this recent study, as well as how you can prevent childhood stress and the resulting weight gain.
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