This Is Your Brain On Obesity: Why Overweight People Have A Harder Time Thinking
Posted Oct 22 2012 10:52am
From Bliss Tree…..
OK, this is interesting. A new research study suggests that people who are obese have dramatically different functioning brains–so much so that this could account for poor eating decisions and impulse control when it comes to putting down the chips and ice cream. But can we really blame our brains for over-eating?
Presented last week at the Neuroscience 2012 conference in New Orleans, researchers discussed their findings on how the foods we eat–and how much of those foods–can alter the way our brain functions. In a study of 29 adults, they used functional magnetic resonance imaging to look at how the brain reacts when we eat.
The study participants were shown words on a screen that were written in various colors (like a red word on a blue background). They were then asked to identify the color of the word. As the screens changed where there was not a lot of contrast between the two colors, the level of difficulty also changed. This is when the researchers noticed something: Those who were obese had a harder time identifying the correct color of the word. They were labeled as less efficient at making complex or difficult decisions, and this, researchers theorized could account for why we over-eat.
But it’s a vicious cycle, really. If we over-eat or consume a lot of unhealthy foods, our brain functioning decreases, leading to decreased impulse control. Then we have even more desire to eat more of the wrong things. And so it continues.
The question then becomes, how do we break this cycle? Going cold turkey, as this research also suggests, is not the answer.