I just recently received a comment to an old post about the current state of clothing sizes for women that raises an interesting question. Why (if it’s true), do American women seem to be carrying more weight in their bellies than they did one or two decades ago? Evidenced in this readers mind by the waists in her pants getting increasingly larger while the size stays the same.
I’m not sure that the fashion industry has caught on specifically to the expanding waistlines of many American women to the degree that they’re altering patterns, (because I still think they’re driven primarily by fashion trends), but I do think the discussion around waist size, and/or belly fat, is an important one.
Of course, there are important genetic factors when considering your shape, build and body composition, so to simply say belly fat is a recent culprit of stressful life styles may seem simplified, but there is significant evidence that the hormone cortisol can and does play a significant role…especially when triggered by stress.
There is an interesting and informative article in the Arizona Republic outlining the lastest scoop on cortisol, you may want to head over and read up on how cortisol works and what are the considerations of stress, over-eating and inactivity. There is also a great read by Marsha Hudnall, MS RD at the Green Mountain at Fox Run website, about how cortisol and stress are linked to weight gain.