The persistent urge to eat: Loose control!!!

by Medindia Content Team on  May 19, 2006 at 10:15 AM Diet & Nutrition News   - G J E 4
The persistent urge to eat: Loose control!!!
In a breakthrough and an answer to so many people's problems comes a theory that tells why people tend to eat and overeat.

These scientists studied brain scans to elucidate that there are centres in some people's brains which tend to be especially sensitive to ads featuring food and packets of food product.

When these areas are greatly stimulated by food images it is likely that people over-eating, and become obese.

Journal of Neuroscience published the study that was conducted by the Medical Research Council's Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit.

The methodology adopted was to expose people to pictures of highly appetizing foods, bland foods, and disgusting foods. Simultaneously, brain activity through a sophisticated fMRI scanner was measured.

Thereafter the study sample participants were asked to complete a questionnaire that assessed their general desire to pursue rewarding items or goals.

The results when analysed pointed in the direction that how well the participants scored on the reward sensitivity questionnaire predicted the extent to which the appetizing food images activated their brain's reward network.

According to lead researcher Dr John Beaver said, "Previous studies in this area have assumed that brain activation patterns are similar in all healthy individuals. But the new findings demonstrate that, even in healthy individuals, some people's brain reward centres are more sensitive to appetizing food cues. This helps explain why some individuals are more vulnerable to developing certain disorders like binge-eating."

"This is particularly pertinent in understanding the rapidly increasing prevalence of obesity, as people are constantly bombarded with images of appetizing food items in order to promote food intake through television advertising, vending machines, or product packaging."

Another view comes from Dr Ian Campbell, an expert in obesity from Nottingham and medical director of the charity Weight Concern says, "This research this shows that it's not simply explained by a loss of will power or greed. It's much more complicated. An involuntary exaggerated neurophysiological response to pictures of desirable food presented through clever advertising makes it incredibly difficult for some affected individuals to resist."

Therefore this problem is not only of the individual but also of the numerous advertisers and manufacturers of food stuffs.


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