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Most of us who bake aren’t necessarily sugar enthusiasts (although that helps). A big reason for why baking has become so popular in recent years is because it helps to de-stress us.

A survey found that one in three of those asked say they feel more stressed than they did five years ago, with 80% taking up baking to help alleviate the pressure.

The research was commissioned ahead of the Great Comic Relief Bake Off which starts on BBC1 tomorrow and found winter is the season when people are most likely to feel the need to knead away their worries.

It found those living in Scotland and the North East said they have seen their anxiety levels rise by up to 57% in the past five years to meet those of the frazzled South East.

In both locations, there was also a 60% rise in baking.

Money tops the reasons why people feel most stressed, with more than a quarter (27%) saying they were feeling the pinch, while job pressure came in second (16%) and health worries third (15%).

Winner of the Great British Bake Off 2012 and ambassador for baking decoration specialist, Cake Angels, which conducted the study, John Whaite said he had found making cakes to be an effective stress reliever.

“It’s great that people are finding an escape in the form of baking,” he said. “I found baking had a calming influence on me without knowing that was what it was doing.

“It’s nice to know that something as simple as making a cake has such a positive effect on our emotions, whilst adding finishing touches such as sprinkles to your creation can give you a sense of pride and enhance how you’re feeling.”

The survey was carried out by Opinion Matters and saw 1,951 adults questioned.

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