Exam time is here for all the universities and colleges. Every student deals with stress during exam time. The preparation and the growing competition one has to go through increases the level of stress. But do you know the food you eat also affects the level of stress one has to go through?
According to a recent study, a diet which consists of more fast foods and less fruits and vegetables can trigger stress during exams. The study explained the link between stress and the food one consumes during the exam time.
The study was presented at the annual European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, UK. "Stress has long been implicated in a poor diet. People tend to report overeating and comfort eating foods high in fat, sugar, and calories in times of stress," said Nathalie Michels from Ghent University in Belgium.
The study was conducted through an anonymous online survey. 232 responses from students aged 19-22 years were observed. The participants were asked to fill a questionnaire including the dietary pattern patterns of the students and other psychosocial factors. The candidates were also asked about the amount of stress they faced before and after the month of the examination.
"Our findings looking at the eating habits of students during exam periods confirm this stress-induced dietary deterioration hypothesis," said Michels, the lead author of the study.
"Our findings suggest that students have difficulties eating healthily and find themselves adopting bad eating habits, which over a few weeks can considerably affect your overall health and be difficult to change," she added.
The researchers observed the relation between exam stress and the food consumed by the student. Effect of other parameters on the diet during exams was also observed. These parameters included eating behaviour, food choice motive, taste preference, impulsivity, coping strategies, sedentary behaviour, and social support.
The research concluded that students who consumed snacks very often experienced higher levels of stress. It also highlighted that there are various other factors which allows the students to make unhealthy choices like some of them are emotional eaters while others are sweet lovers.
"To fight against stress-induced eating, prevention strategies should integrate psychological and lifestyle aspects including stress management (eg, emotion regulation training, mindfulness, yoga), nutritional education with techniques for self-effectiveness, awareness of eating without hunger, and creating an environment that stimulates a healthy diet and physical activity," Michels concluded.
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