'The Trump 10': Packing On The Pounds In An Age Of Stressful Politics : The Salt Think of it as the political version of the freshman 15. Nowadays, some people who are unhappy with the current political environment are complaining of stress-induced eating and weight gain.

'The Trump 10': Packing On The Pounds In An Age Of Stressful Politics

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There have been all kinds of societal effects because of the current political climate. Here's one you might not have heard of, though. It's causing celebrities and others to gain weight. Here's NPR's Allison Aubrey.

ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: A few weeks back, Stephen Colbert welcomed a Tony Award-winning actress onto his show.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT")

STEPHEN COLBERT: Please welcome Jane Krakowski.

AUBREY: Krakowski walked onto the set. She greeted Colbert with a quick kiss on the cheek and got personal.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT")

JANE KRAKOWSKI: Now that I've put on my Trump 10, I've got to work out a little bit.

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: I haven't heard about the Trump 10.

KRAKOWSKI: Yeah, like a freshman 15.

COLBERT: No, I understand that. No, no, I totally have the Trump 10.

KRAKOWSKI: You do, too?

COLBERT: I'm just stress eating...

KRAKOWSKI: See? (Laughter).

COLBERT: ...All the time.

AUBREY: So is there anything to this? I put the question to Janice Kiecolt-Glaser of The Ohio State University. She studies stress.

(LAUGHTER)

JANICE KIECOLT-GLASER: You know, it's easy to laugh at. But in terms of what we know about stress, it really does make sense.

AUBREY: So you think that this Trump 10 phenomenon could be real?

KIECOLT-GLASER: Yes because when people are stressed, they typically do reach for the higher-calorie, higher-sugar foods that are more likely to put on pounds.

AUBREY: Now, to be clear, there is no direct evidence pinning weight gain to the presidents. And let's face it, it's convenient to blame someone else for our personal struggles. But one hint that the effect could be real comes from a recent poll. The American Psychological Association surveys Americans about stress levels, and researcher Elissa Epel of UC San Francisco says the findings are telling.

ELISSA EPEL: The survey does ask whether the political climate is stressing them out.

AUBREY: More than half of those who responded said yes; the current political climate is a source of stress. And Epel says the unease cuts across party lines.

EPEL: Regardless of whether people are pro-Trump or anti-Trump, most people do not like what they're seeing on the news.

AUBREY: People who stay super plugged-in, taking in every tweet, every news cycle, are more likely to be stressed out, the poll suggests.

EPEL: Constant checking of the news on your phone or on TV, it's a bad idea. It's keeping you in a vigilant state.

AUBREY: And that can add to your stress. So maybe this explains a recent tweet from Barbra Streisand. She tweeted, Donald Trump is making me gain weight. I start the day with liquids. But after the morning news, I eat pancakes smothered in maple syrup. Allison Aubrey, NPR News.

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