A new study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has linked employee burnout to overeating, according to an article on CNN.com.
The study involved 230 working women. Even after 12 months, those who were experiencing workplace burnout at the beginning of the study were more likely to have emotional and uncontrolled eating habits than those without burnout.
The study found that body mass index was often associated with uncontrolled eating and that overweight individuals were more likely to engage in these behaviors. But the study found that there was no significant difference in weight between people with and without burnout.
The article noted that everyone responds differently to stress and that some people actually eat less under stress. More participants are needed to corroborate the findings in this study. But the experts agreed that confronting burnout is key to controlling the situation.
"What I find in a lot of people is that food is not the issue. They're not necessarily eating the food for a physiological reason, but they're doing it for a psychological reason. It just happens that food is so readily available," said Meagan Mohammadione, R.D, L.D., at the Emory Bariatric Center in Atlanta.
In the article, another expert said that when stress is not managed in a long-term way, diet and exercise changes can be very challenging. And some short-term diet changes can add to stress, such as reducing carbohydrates, which can lower an already low mood.
To combat cravings at work, the experts recommend the following: have healthy snacks like baby carrots and apples available in place of junk food from the vending machine, and talking a walk to get a little exercise when you feel the need to indulge in a not-so-good snack.