About Careers MedBlog Contact us

Why Fat Folks Have an Endless Urge for Sweets?

by Hannah Punitha on November 29, 2008 at 6:35 PM
Font : A-A+

 Why Fat Folks Have an Endless Urge for Sweets?

Have you ever wondered why fat people have an endless urge for sweets, cakes and chocolates? Well, now a new study in mice has shown that obesity gradually numbs the taste sensation to sweet foods, which drives up the consumption of larger and ever-sweeter meals.

The new study, conducted by researchers at Penn State College of Medicine, could reveal a critical link between taste and body weight, and reveal how flab hooks the brain on sugary food.


When you have a reduced sensitivity to palatable foods, you tend to consume it in higher amounts. It is a vicious circle, said Andras Hajnal, associate professor of neural and behavioral sciences at Penn State College of Medicine.

For the study, Hajnal and his colleague examined the taste responses of two strains OLETF and LETO rats. Compared to the lean and healthy LETO rats, the taste responses in OLETF rats mirror those in obese humans.

These rats have normal body weight at first, but they tend to chronically overeat due to a missing satiety signal, become obese and develop diabetes. The obese rats also show an increased preference for sweet foods and also are willing to work harder to obtain sweet solutions as a reward for their learning.

When you have excess body weight, the brain is supposed to tell you not to eat more, or not choose high caloric meals. But this control apparently fails and thus the obesity epidemic is rising, and we want to find out how the sense of taste drives up food intake,said Hajnal.

The researchers implanted electrodes in the rodents' brains to record the firing of nerve cells when the rats' tongues were exposed to various tastes salt, citric acid, plain water and six different concentrations of sucrose.

The researchers specifically looked at differences in processing taste in the pontine parabrachial nucleus (PBN), a part of the brain that uses nerve cells to relay information from the surface of the tongue to the brain.

We found that compared to the LETO rats, the OLETF rats had about 50 percent fewer neurons firing when their tongues were exposed to sucrose, suggesting that obese rats are overall less sensitive to sucrose, said Hajnal.

The response to salt was the same for both strains. However, when the obese rats were fed a stronger concentration of sucrose, their nerve cells fired more vigorously than in the lean rats. In other words, obese rats have a weaker response to weak concentrations and a stronger response to strong concentrations.

These findings tell us that there is a difference in activation of neurons between lean and obese rats when they are exposed varying concentrations of sucrose. If you sense sweetness less, you may be inclined to eat sweeter foods, said Hajnal.

The study has appeared in a recent issue of the Journal of Neurophysiology.

Source: ANI


Recommended Reading

Latest Diet & Nutrition News

Rejuvenating Your Brain With a Green Mediterranean Diet
The research highlighted the importance of consuming green Mediterranean diet, including lower consumption of processed food in maintaining optimal brain health.
Fresh Food for a Fresh Start: Overcoming Health Vulnerabilities!
By adopting clean eating and incorporating fresh foods, individuals can protect themselves against potential health issues, posed by today's fast-paced society.
How Can Common Sweetener Damage DNA?
Sucralose-6-acetate commonly found in sweeteners is tagged as genotoxic. The chemical was found to damage the DNA in cells.
Healthy Eating: The Impact of Whole Grain Consumption
Experts believe it is unlikely that information about the health benefits of whole grains alone can boost whole grain consumption to the recommended level.
Almond Milk Yogurt is More Nutritious Than Dairy-Based
When comparing plant-based and dairy yogurts, almond milk yogurt was identified as the nutritionally superior option.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Why Fat Folks Have an Endless Urge for Sweets? Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests