There’s an overwhelming amount of research proving that stress is bad for your health. Now a new study published in the journal Obesity on Thursday adds more evidence to the pile, showing that higher cortisol levels (aka the stress hormone) are linked to larger waistlines.

“We found levels of cortisol in the hair to be positively and significantly correlated to larger waist circumference and higher body mass index or BMI,” lead author Sarah Jackson of the Institute of Epidemiology and Health at University College London told CNN. “These results provide consistent evidence that chronic stress is associated with higher levels of obesity.”

The findings are all the more reason to make meaningful efforts to reign your stress in. Exercise is a great place to start, since it has proven stress-reducing and waist-whittling benefits.

Read more about the findings at CNN.

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