Skip to content
decoding obesity business logo

Episode 8: Stress and obesity


Stress and Obesity

In the past episode, we briefly talked about how the pandemic has brought with it, a lot of stress, and how this becomes increased the risk of obesity. Tune in to this episode, to hear my conversation with Dr. Shirly Ramchandani, as we further explore the science behind stress and obesity, and how to properly handle this interrelationship. Dr. Ramchandani is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine. During her twenty-year career in primary care, she has managed many patients with obesity and related complications. Her passion is to help her patients improve their health and achieve greater life satisfaction and well-being while making sustainable positive changes.

Key Learnings:

Tune in to my conversation with Dr. Ramchandani and learn:

  • The definition of stress and its different types
  • The physiology behind stress and the various chronic diseases resulting from it
  • The six pillars of health and which one of them became Dr. Ramchandani’s passion
  • How stress impacts an individual’s behavioral choices
  • The most effective way to prevent and treat stress
  • The difference between acute stress and chronic stress, and what both do to the body
  • How stress specifically leads to obesity
  • The science behind stress or emotional- eating, and slow or mindful- eating
  • Properly addressing the problem of weight stigma to the general population
  • Specific ways to mitigate stress and how to practice the relaxation response

Definition of Terms Used by Dr. Ramchandani:

  1. Stress – first described in 1936, is a nonspecific response of the body to any demand for change. Different stressors could result in either good stress or bad stress.
  2. Acute stress activation of the sympathetic nervous system response. It is strongly associated with the fight or flight response, wherein the body tries to use resources in order for it to flee from the ‘threat’.
  3. Chronic stress – accumulative minor, day to day stressors. It repeatedly activates the stress response system and leads to increased cortisol production, hormonal changes, etc.
  4. Relaxation response – coined by Dr. Herbert Benson in the 1970s, is anything that breaks that train of everyday thoughts. It also leads to effective self-awareness and self-regulation.

The Six Pillars of Health according to Dr. Shalu Ramchandani:

  • Sleep
  • Hygiene
  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Stress management
  • Decreasing the use of risky substances
  • Social connectedness


“If you look at those six pillars of lifestyle medicine from a broader perspective, you’ll realize that almost all of them—all of the others are kind of related to stress or interrelated with stress in form or the other.”

“It’s a bidirectional relationship between stress and the other pillars of lifestyle medicine.”

“There’s no fun in feeling guilty after eating something that you really enjoyed.”


Dr. Shirley Ramchandani’s facebook page –

Dr. Shirley Ramchandani’s website –

Don’t forget to subscribe, leave a rating, and review:


Continue the Conversation here