According to the study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, food deprivation when combined with other stressors such as harsh parenting, impacts a teen’s development.
A new study by Iowa State University researchers suggests that when these years include prolonged periods of food insecurity coupled with harsh parenting practices.
“When females who are normal weight in their early adolescence experience food insecurity, something is happening in their bodies,” said Brenda Lohman, Professor, Iowa State University.
In the study, harsh parenting was defined as hostile or aversive physical contact; punishment in response to misbehaviour; or angry, critical, or disapproving behaviour.
“Hardships impact how a youth’s parent feels, which then impacts family processes and family dynamics,” said Tricia Neppl, assistant professor, Iowa State University.
Metabolic literature suggests that when a person is deprived of nutrients or proper food on top of experiencing stressors like harsh parenting, cortisol-which the body releases during stressful situations, may increase and changes in the endocrine system, essential to hormone function, can lead to greater weight gain.