Here what Livestrong says about the chemical causes of Kanye West’s dad bod:
“Physiologically, the stress hormone cortisol has been shown to increase appetite and appetite for junk food, which will increase the likelihood of accumulating belly fat,” says Dr. Ariane Machin, psychologist and co-founder of the Conscious Coaching Collective, when asked about the effects of stress on men’s health (but not West’s situation in particular). This occurs because the increased levels of cortisol cause higher insulin levels, and that reduces blood sugar and induces the craving of sugary, fatty foods.”
Binge eating in particular — or eating copious amounts of food in short periods of time — is also a potential effect of stress. Out of the estimated 10 million Americans who binge eat, 40 percent are men, reports Psychology Today.
Becoming more sedentary is another stress-coping mechanism, such as turning to “numbing” activities like television or the computer even if there’s no productive work being done. Dr. Machin notes that a recent survey done by the American Psychological Association found that 40 percent of the respondents said they dealt with stress by eating, while 42 percent said they watch television for more than two hours a day to de-stress.
The challenge, Dr. Machin explains, is that negative coping habits like overeating or becoming more sedentary often lead to feelings of guilt and shame. “This contributes to an on-going cycle that can continue unless it is interrupted through awareness or positive coping methods,” she says.