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Study: Dieting raises a person's stress level

April 7, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new study shows that trying to lose weight raises a person's stress levels.A researcher at the University of California, San Francisco found that people who restrict calories have an increased level of the stress hormone cortisol.

She followed 99 women who were randomly assigned to four separate eating groups. The women completed surveys on their stress levels and they had their saliva tested before and after dieting to evaluate their bodies' stress level.

The study found that dieters lost an average of two pounds in three weeks. Non-dieters gained two and a half pounds.

But participants who cut calories had higher levels of cortisol than before they started the diet and higher levels than non-dieters in the study.

The findings were reported in the online version of Psychosomatic Medicine.