COVID comfort eating driven by hormones

Dr Belinda Henry

This year’s pandemic has caused many of us to look for ways to relieve stress at home, turning to activities such as eating that bring us joy and comfort, Hormones Australia reported. The website interviewed the BDI’s Dr Belinda Henry, a physiologist, about how these food cravings are driven by hormones released when we experience chronic stress. “The current pandemic represents a perfect example of a chronic stressor,” Dr Henry said. Dr Henry said that when we are exposed to any sort of stress, our adrenal glands respond by producing the hormone cortisol. “Cortisol activates those systems in our body that help us directly deal with the stress, like increasing energy production, while suppressing other processes that are not essential to our survival at that time, like reproduction,” she said. Dr Henry went on to explain the undesirable effects being chronically stressed has on cortisol levels. Hormones Australia is an initiative of the Endocrine Society of Australia (ESA).