In the 1959 Peter Sellers movie "The Mouse that Roared," the British funny man plays three roles in a story about how an inconsequential European Duchy attacks and defeats America. Sellers' roles as Grand Duchess Gloriana, Prime Minister Count Rupert Mountjoy and game warden Tully Bascombe all contribute to the same result — a riotous sendup of global politics.

Well, in a recent Chinese-American experiment published in Scientific Reports, several groups of mice roared loud and clear when researchers examined the effects of a high-fat diet, obesity and stress on their gut biome and their mood.

Researchers found:

• High-fat diets dramatically altered the gut biome, and not for the better.

• Male mice that ate a high-fat diet became obese and sedentary, had altered gut biomes and were more likely to develop anxiety disorders than females.

• Thin female mice exposed to stress had changes in their gut biome that made the mix of bacteria resemble the gut biome of obese female mice. That meant thin, stressed females were vulnerable to obesity-related diseases, such as depression, fatty liver disease, insulin resistance and diabetes, bodywide inflammation and heart disease.

So, if you're female and dealing with chronic stress and/or obesity, protect your gut. Take up meditation, walk 10,000 steps daily and eliminate saturated and trans fats from your diet. If you're male and overweight, get evaluated for a mood disorder. Make a plan to get happier and healthier by shedding 4 pounds a month and making sure to get those 10,000 steps a day.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.

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