Will Power and Obesity: A Recent Study's Findings
Do you find it nearly impossible to pass when offered another home made chocolate chip cookie? Can you have just two potato chips with onion dip at a party and stop there? If chocolate cake is a favorite, are you one of the ones who eats three bites and pushes away the plate? If not, and you are tending toward overweight or obesity, then don't get down on yourself because you've just finished scarfing down a large bacon, lettuce and tomato cheeseburger, onion rings and a humongous portion of fries. There may be a good reason why your resistance levels when facing such tempting treats head for the Bermuda Triangle.
For overweight and obese Americans, brain activity differs from those who are normal weight or slim when shown pictures of high caloric foods, a recent study reported this week in The Journal of Clinical Investigation. The research, conducted at Yale University by Dr. Kathleen Paige, Dr. Dongju Seo and others, examined which areas of people's brains are most active, depending upon blood glucose levels.
As reported by Claire Pain for ABC Sidney, the participants, 14 people (9 normal weight and 5 obese) had their brains scanned by an MRI two hours after they ate a meal and while their blood glucose levels were altered from normal to slightly low levels. During the magnetic resonance imagining, they were shown pictures of food or non-food-related items. Another 7 volunteers acted as the control group: their blood glucose levels were kept constant as they viewed the same pictures as the first group who did know that their glucose levels were being manipulated but didn't know in what direction.
When the participants' blood sugar levels were lowered, areas of their brain related to reward and motivation reacted when they viewed pictures of cookies and potato chips. Garden salads, celery sticks? No lights flickered or steadied a commensurate response as with the calorie hefty treats.Continued on the next page