A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation has revealed that people who are obese do not have the same ability to resist high calorie food items compared to those who are of normal weight.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Southern California and Yale University who conducted MRI scans on the brains of 14 healthy volunteers, five of whom were obese. The participants were shown images of high calorie food and healthy vegetables and fruits and their blood sugar levels were manipulated by the researchers.
The researchers found that when the sugar levels were low, both the insula and striatum, associated with rewards, and prefrontal cortex, which stops the signal to eat, performed in the usual manner among both normal weight and obese participants.
However when the sugar levels were normal, the prefrontal cortex region of the brain among normal weight participants displayed greater activity and thereby reducing the activity in the other two regions.
"There is a controller, a higher function that controls your reward centers. That controller is deficient in people with obesity. They don't activate that system", lead researcher Robert Sherwin said.