Underweight people were found to pay greater attention to natural foods and overweight people to processed foods, reveals a new study published in the Biological Psychology journal.
With two behavioral and electroencephalographic experiments, the study demonstrated that people of normal weight tend to associate natural foods such as apples with their sensory characteristics such as sweetness or softness.
‘Underweight and overweight people process foods differently based on the sensory characteristics and the functions of items.Underweight people pay greater attention to natural foods and overweight people to processed foods.’
Every individual processes different types of foods differently, which is in harmony with the body mass index.
"It can be considered an instance of 'embodiment' in which our brain interacts with our body". This is the comment made by Raffaella Rumiati, neuroscientist at the International School for Advanced Studies SISSA in Trieste.
The results are in line with the theory according to which sensory characteristics and the functions of items are processed differently by the brain, comments Giulio Pergola, the work's primary author.
They represent an important step forward in our understanding of the mechanisms at the basis of the assessments we make of food. But that's not all.
Even when subjected to the same stimuli, the two groups show different electroencephalography signals. These results show once again the importance of cognitive neuroscience also in the understanding of extremely topical clinical fields such as dietary disorders.