How does stress relate to gaining weight? – Erin * For many people, there's a direct connection between stress and weight gain: When they feel stressed, they turn to food for comfort. That's bad enough, but it gets worse: When we're stressed out, we tend to choose junk food over healthy food. So the calories can add up quickly. Over time, these extra calories can lead to weight gain. Being overweight makes it more likely people will have health problems like high cholesterol and diabetes. So instead of grabbing the chocolate ice cream the next time you feel anxious or stressed, reach for an apple, a handful of almonds, or a small bowl of light popcorn. Try an alternative stress reliever, like exercising (which will also help burn calories), talking with a friend, meditating, or listening to some comforting music to help you decrease stress. *Names have been changed to protect user privacy. Back to Articles Related Articles Nutrition & Fitness Center Visit our nutrition and fitness center for teens to get information and advice on food, exercise, and sports. Read More Anxiety Disorders Anxiety is a natural part of life, and most of us experience it from time to time. But for some people, anxiety can be extreme. Read More Stress & Coping Center Visit our stress and coping center for advice on how to handle stress, including different stressful situations. Read More Stress There's good stress and bad stress. Find out what's what and learn practical ways to cope in this article. Read More Staying at a Healthy Weight Here are some practical, everyday tips on making exercise and healthy eating work for you instead of feeling like it's the other way around. Read More Smart Snacking Healthy snacks are essential for busy teens. Find out how eating nutritious snacks throughout the day can keep your energy level high and your mind alert. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.