Chronic Stress and Obesity: Psychology, Nutrition and Modern Lifestyle Behavior

A special issue of Medicina (ISSN 1648-9144). This special issue belongs to the section "Psychiatry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 629

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Human Metabolism Research, Department of Dietetics, Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences (WULS-SGGW), 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
Interests: nutritional psychiatry; gut-brain axis; inflammation; personalized medicine; gut permeability; lifestyle psychiatry

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Guest Editor
Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of Bialystok, 15-269 Bialystok, Poland
Interests: clinical neurophysiology; smoking; eating disorders; biomarkers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Today’s society and lifestyles greatly affect human well-being. Chronic psychological stress is an integral part of our lives and has an adverse effect on our health. The mechanism linking psychological stress and chronic disease is closely related to our food choices and habits, leading to obesity. Furthermore, the relationship between psychological stress and excessive weight gain is multi-dimensional. Long-term stress can interact with genetic predisposition and affect the neuroendocrine response of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), epigenetic modulation and the gut microbiome environment to promote obesity. Chronic psychological stress also influences overall food intake. Chronic stress has been shown to be related the consumption of high amounts of refined sugars and saturated fatty acids, called “comfort food”. In the short term, this food helps decrease the emotional stress response; however, this increased intake of energy-dense foods leads to excessive weight gain, which is enhanced by biological responses to stressors. Excessive body weight has become a major public health concern in high-income countries. The number of deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) attributable to overweight and obesity doubled globally between 1990 and 2017. The risk factors of obesity are well known and include lifestyle behaviors such as physical activity, nutrition, alcohol drinking and sleep quality. Less understood is the interaction between these behaviors and chronic stress in obesity development.

This Special Issue aims to provide insight into the latest evidence of a relationship between chronic stress and obesity and the role of lifestyle in this bidirectional interaction.

Research articles and comprehensive reviews (not including systematic reviews) with a suggested minimum word count of 4000 words are invited. Papers prepared by multidisciplinary teams connecting various fields of science (e.g., psychology, sociology, nutrition, genetics, biochemistry and medicine) will be highly welcomed.

Therefore, we invite authors to submit manuscripts that address the connection between the psychological and nutritional effects of modern lifestyle behaviors.

Dr. Joanna Rog
Prof. Dr. Napoleon Waszkiewicz
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Medicina is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.



  • obesity
  • psychological stress
  • lifestyle behaviors
  • physical activity
  • quality of sleep
  • diet
  • nutrition
  • stress-reducing methods
  • yoga
  • meditation
  • wellbeing
  • lifestyle medicine

Published Papers (1 paper)

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16 pages, 674 KiB  
Epigenetic and Coping Mechanisms of Stress in Affective Disorders: A Scoping Review
by Brenda-Cristiana Bernad, Mirela-Cleopatra Tomescu, Teodora Anghel, Diana Lungeanu, Virgil Enătescu, Elena Silvia Bernad, Vlad Nicoraș, Diana-Aurora Arnautu and Lavinia Hogea
Medicina 2024, 60(5), 709; - 25 Apr 2024
Viewed by 475
This review aims to explore the intricate relationship among epigenetic mechanisms, stress, and affective disorders, focusing on how early life experiences and coping mechanisms contribute to susceptibility to mood disorders. Epigenetic factors play a crucial role in regulating gene expression without altering the [...] Read more.
This review aims to explore the intricate relationship among epigenetic mechanisms, stress, and affective disorders, focusing on how early life experiences and coping mechanisms contribute to susceptibility to mood disorders. Epigenetic factors play a crucial role in regulating gene expression without altering the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) sequence, and recent research has revealed associations between epigenetic changes and maladaptive responses to stress or psychiatric disorders. A scoping review of 33 studies employing the PRISMA-S (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses—Statement) guidelines investigates the role of stress-induced epigenetic mechanisms and coping strategies in affective disorder occurrence, development, and progression. The analysis encompasses various stress factors, including childhood trauma, work-related stress, and dietary deficiencies, alongside epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation and altered gene expression. Findings indicate that specific stress-related genes frequently exhibit epigenetic changes associated with affective disorders. Moreover, the review examines coping mechanisms in patients with bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder, revealing mixed associations between coping strategies and symptom severity. While active coping is correlated with better outcomes, emotion-focused coping may exacerbate depressive or manic episodes. Overall, this review underscores the complex interplay among genetic predisposition, environmental stressors, coping mechanisms, and affective disorders. Understanding these interactions is essential for developing targeted interventions and personalized treatment strategies for individuals with mood disorders. However, further research is needed to elucidate specific genomic loci involved in affective disorders and the clinical implications of coping strategies in therapeutic settings. Full article
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