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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Healthy Body Weight Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #316840

Research Project: Dietary Guidelines Adherence and Healthy Body Weight Maintenance

Location: Healthy Body Weight Research

Title: Habituation to a stressor predicts adolescents' adiposity

Author
item Feda, Denise - UNIVERSITY OF BUFFALO
item Seelbinder, April - UNIVERSITY OF BUFFALO
item Roemmich, James

Submitted to: Anxiety, Stress, & Coping: An International Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/22/2015
Publication Date: 7/21/2015
Citation: Feda, D.M., Seelbinder, A.S., Roemmich, J.N. 2015. Habituation to a stressor predicts adolescents' adiposity. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping: An International Journal. doi:10.1080/10615806.2015.1065318.

Interpretive Summary: Being more reactive to psychological stressors is associated with body fat. One factor that determines how much stress is experienced is how quickly a person reduces responding (habituates) to the same stressor. The purpose of this study was to determine the association of adolescents’ adiposity with how quickly they reduced their responding (habituated) to a stressor. Thirty-four adolescents were measured for their rate of decline in perceived stress and heart rate across four trials of subtracting difficult numbers. We found that those adolescents who had a slower rate of habituation to the subtraction stressor had greater adiposity.

Technical Abstract: Background and Objectives: Stress is associated with gains in adiposity. One factor that determines how much stress is experienced is how quickly an adolescent reduces responding (habituates) across repeated stressors. The purpose of this study was to determine the association of body mass index percentile and the rate of habituation to a stressor. Design: Thirty-four adolescents completed anthropometric measures and a habituation protocol using a within study design. Methods: The habituation protocol measured the rate of decline in perceived stress and heart rate across four, two-minute serial subtraction trials. Results: Multivariate linear regression revealed the habituation rate of the heart rate predicted body mass index percentile after adjusting for gender, socioeconomic status, and initial heart rate (ß = 17.2, p < 0.04). Conclusions: Slower habituation to a laboratory stressor was associated with greater body mass index percentiles in adolescents.