However, researchers also found that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables did little to offset the effect of chronic job stress on weight gain among the employees, who were mostly sedentary.
Lead author Dr. Diana Fernandez, an epidemiologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said her study is among many that associate high job pressure with cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, depression, exhaustion, anxiety and weight gain.
The University of Rochester Medical Center researchers conducted the study of 2,782 employees at a large manufacturing facility in upstate New York. However, the results could be applicable to almost any job situation in which layoffs, or lack of control at work, is a major concern, Fernandez said.
Over and over, Fernandez's team heard the same story: After spending the day sitting in stressful meetings or at their computers, they looked forward to going home and "vegging out" in front of the TV.
The findings were published in the journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.