Impact of Stress on Food Intake: A Comparative Study among Boys and Girls

  • V Bhavani Dietician, ESIC Medical College and Hospital, KK Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • N Prabhavathy Devi Assistant Professor, Queen Mary’s College for Women, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Keywords: Hypophagia, Hyperphagia, Eating Habits, Favourite food, coping stress, emotional eaters


Background: Students from metropolitan cities were more prone to stress due to their lifestyle, curriculum, availability of gadgets and many other social factors. Earlier studies also proved that stress has an impact on food intake, either hyperphagia or hypophagia. Since students are the future pillars of nation, the present study has been carried out to know the impact of stress on the students of metropolitan city like Chennai.

Aim: To study the impact of stress on food intake of the study

Methods and Tools: 1000 samples (500 males and 500 females) from Chennai colleges were selected using stratified and simple random technique. A pre tested interview schedule were used to collect the information. The obtained data were subjected to statistical analysis and results were discussed

Results: Majority of the students (40.7) cope stress by watching TV. About 88% male and 12% female prefers to go out and eat. 47% and 29.9% subjects respectively consume more and less food during stress. About 37.5%, consumes more food at the sight of their favorite food. When reasons for the poor eating habits were analyzed, majority of the participants (57.6%) mentioned lack of time, 23.5% reported lack of money, and 18.9% mentioned taste.

Conclusion: Stress impacts on consumption of caloric dense food rather than nutrient dense food. Students must be educated not to indulge in consuming energy dense food as method to cope up stress. Parents and college authorities must take responsibilities to help students to relieve from stress and make them indulge in healthy eating pattern rather than consuming junks foods to overcome stress.

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