April 25, 2010

Extra weightIt is said that in the nearest future, the generation is going to suffer from the problems of extra weight and obesity more and more. In Britain, the specialists of the University of Oxford published their new findings. Years of observation of modern people’s eating habits and the tendencies of adult obesity made the specialists believe that by the year 2020 overweight and obesity will become a problem of much more amount of British people. Read the rest of this entry »

August 17, 2009

Hunger ControlI found not too recent but quite interesting news. In January 2009, online journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published the results of an extensive study involving brain-imaging (PET scanning). The specialists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory studied the responses of men and women on the feeling of hunger and came to the conclusion that modern gentleman can control their hunger more successfully than ladies do. This interesting experiment can throw a light on why overweight and obesity rates in females are higher, and why it is usually easier for men to put off weight and be in a better shape by controlling food intake. Read the rest of this entry »

July 20, 2009

Childhood obesity is one of the most topical and challenging social health care issues of our times. Bad eating habits and uncontrolled eating behavior are the main reasons of this huge global problem. According to the latest statistics, published by the International Obesity Task Force organization, it is estimated that there are more than 22 million today’s children under 5 are obese or overweight. Read the rest of this entry »

June 26, 2009

The findings of a new interesting research published recently in Obesity online journal are being vividly discussed in today’s mass media. Canadian and American specialists at Statistics Canada, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland State University, McGill University and Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research are convinced that those of us who have a few extra pounds have much better chances to live longer than those whose BMI varies from 18.5 to 25. Read the rest of this entry »

The Pleasure of Eating and Obesity

Author: Carla Fiscina
April 17, 2009

You know so well, how this happens in our life: some people eat practically  every type of food, they never watch the calories and manage to stay slim all the time. Other people, in order to avoid having extra weight, are ready for eating only natural foods, only raw or only boiled vegetables, or for giving up eating everything that contains sugar, fat, carbs, starch or whatever. And, still, they can be overweight or even obese. Many of us find it unfair, but what to do?

It is obvious that gaining weight is not connected only with the food we eat. For many years scientists were looking for links between our brain impulses and having extra weight. Finally, in 2008 it was found out that obese people usually have smaller amounts of dopamine receptors, responsible for the ability to feel pleasure while eating. Therefore, overweight people tend to consume more and more food in order to experience more satisfaction from eating.

When we eat, our body releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which can bring us a feeling of pleasure from eating. The more dopamine is released, the more pleasure we experience. However, the people who are predisposed to having extra weight usually have reduced amounts of dopamine receptors. According to Dr. Eric Stice, a specialist in the Department of Psychology at the University of Oregon, who was a leader of the research, “..obese people may have fewer dopamine receptors, so they overeat to compensate for this reward deficit“.

For about a year, the team of Dr. Stice was studying the responses of the brians of 76 female participants of the experiment. Young ladies were first offered to drink a chocolate milkshake followed by drinking a tasteless solution. With the help of MRI it was possible to monitor and measure the activity in the “plceasure center” of the women’s brain, accompanied by a regular tracking of the ladies’ BMI. As a result, it was revealed that the women with reduced striatal response to milkshakes were more likely to gain extra weight.