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  Stress and Obesity: The Biological Connection Obesity causes many negative changes within our physiology. Obesity can cause systemic inflammation which causes an increase in production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that cause oxidative stress.  Oxidative stress will contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction. Consuming excessive amounts of macronutrients and calories can overwhelm the Krebs cycle and the mitochondrial respiratory chain, resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction, and greater ROS formation.  A quick review of the hormones, neuropeptides, and neurotransmitters that play a role in our metabolism will help you better understand how obesity can contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction.  Please read below for a quick recap.  Cortisol . Researchers have also discovered that chronic stress can cause the body to release excess cortisol, a hormone critical in managing fat storage and energy use in the human body. Cortisol is known to increase appetite and may encoura