In the holiday season, women should not curb their eating temptations just to stay slim as this may lead to eating disorders, say researchers.
Women undergo hormonal changes every month due to the menstrual cycle. These changes can make women eat more, which is a natural and biological occurrence.
However, professor Kelly Klump from Michigan State University has found that the increased food intake causes some women to become much more preoccupied with their body weight and shape.
This intensified obsession can increase the risk of developing eating disorder symptoms.
"In our culture, we tend to view any increased eating by a woman as a negative thing, even when it is biologically and evolutionarily driven," Klump said.
"This is a potentially dangerous chain of events that could lead to serious and life threatening eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. This can be especially problematic during the holidays," she said.
In a study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, Klump and co-lead author Britny Hildebrandt said future research in this area will try to determine what other factors, in addition to emotional eating, drive pathological eating disorder symptoms in women across reproductive and hormonal stages.