Low-income, overweight mothers of young children ate fewer fast-food meals and high-fat snacks, according to a new study they participated in, not because the study told them not to, but because the lifestyle intervention they participated in lowered their stress.
The program was 16 weeks long and its goal was to prevent weight gain by promoting physical activity, healthy eating and stress management. The methods focused on time management and prioritizing tasks. Some of these were demonstrated in videos featuring mothers much like the study participants.
The videos used testimonies and demonstrated the women interacting with their families to help mothers identify stressors. Presumably because they have never lived another way, many of the participants said they never realized how high their stress level actually was.
Many also did not recognize the symptoms of head and neck pain, trouble sleeping and feeling impatient were all signs of stress.
When the study was analyzed the data determined that these women’s lowered perceived stress was a key factor in them eating less fast-food and high fat snacks.