Chronic stress exposure impacts negatively in individuals leading to food addiction, overweight or obesity. Stress-genes and their translation products are responsible for the responses of humans to adverse environments. Alterations in stress-genes expression or protein function may induce behaviors as compulsive eating of high-energy containing food, which decreases stress-induced negative feelings. However, chronic stress is not assessed in Mexican population. We analyzed here the association between polymorphisms of CRH, CRHR2 and glucocorticoids (GR, NR3C1) receptor genes with food addiction and obesity and overweight in Mexican patients of a Nutrition Clinic. We recruited 508 individuals of both genders, who accepted to participate in the study at their first visit to the clinic, obtaining their fat mass percentage and a blood sample for the genetic analysis. Participants answered the Yale’s food addiction scale and were subjected to a Trier social test, as an acute stressful stimulus. Pre and post-test saliva samples were obtained to evaluate cortisol levels and adrenal axis’ response to the acute stress. The 63% of participants classified as stressed (S); 6.5% of normal-weight individuals showed food-addiction, whereas 63% of participants with food-addiction were also stressed. The fat mass percentage was greater in stress-addiction than in stressed non-addiction participants. The best interaction model for obesity development risk comprehended the presence of polymorphisms of the three genes that in combination with food addiction increased the risk for developing obesity 2.8-4-fold. Thus, frequent stress exposure favors food-addiction, which along with genetic susceptibility seems to add up to Mexican obesity/overweight rates.
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