Health: Comfort In A Bowl

Sweets and fatty foods really do relieve chronic stress, but there is a price to pay

What do you have in common with a lab rat that has spent five days in a refrigerated cage? More than you might think. Rats, like people, are prone to stress. No, they don't have to contend with deadlines or traffic jams, but when temperatures fall, their bodies exhibit classic signs of chronic stress. Indeed, several experiments performed by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, show that if the animals have access to sugary water and lard, they will forgo their normal, nutritious rat chow and load up on sweets and fats.

Sound familiar? From a biochemical point...

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