Stress Essay

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Stress is largely found as a part of North American society. When someone states that they are under stress, it usually means that they feel tense and uncomfortable, and are unable to deal with their environment and their surroundings. Sarafino (2002) defines stress as the condition in which “person-environment transactions lead to a perceived discrepancy between the physical and psychological demands of a situation and the resources of the individual’s biological, psychological, or social systems.” Therefore, stress largely depends on the way a person perceives the situation. Stress, in itself, is not negative, but if it is not managed properly, it can lead to negative outcomes (Bharwani, 2002). Stress involves two components, which are physical, or directly involving the body, and psychological, which involves perceiving the situation or circumstances in one’s life (Lovallo, 1997). Unfortunately, obesity is also a large part of North American society. Obesity, which is defined as a very high amount of body fat in relation to lean body mass, and is detected if an individual’s Body Mass Index (BMI) is over 30, has increased dramatically in Canada and the United States across gender, ethnic groups, and education over the last few years. Obesity is also an established risk factor for a plethora of health problems, including hypertension, stroke, heart attacks, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and many other difficulties. However, is there a link between stress and obesity? Absolutely, but the question that arises is how? In this paper, I will discuss how the impact of stress on health behaviours can result in obesity, and take a look at how stress and obesity are linked through scientific studies. Baum (1994) discusses a link between stress, behaviour and illness. By looking at situations in which families are going through a divorce, he has found that stress

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