Post-traumatic stress disorder increases risk of obesity in women

Women with PTSD are more likely to be overweight or obese and gain weight faster than those without the disorder.

It is unclear, however, the factor that actually drives this weight gain. The study found that women of a normal weight who had symptoms were 36% more likely to develop obesity compared to women who had experienced trauma but had no symptoms of PTSD. Therefore the symptoms of PTSD appear to be the driving force of weight gain rather than the trauma itself.

Reasons for the weight gain is unknown but scientists speculate that it could be the result of the over-activation of stress hormones and unhealthy behaviour patterns used to cope with stress, such as processed foods and decreases in exercise.

Read more at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health