Saturday, March 14, 2020

Does weight gain change your brain’s response to high sugar/high fat foods?

The Study
In this fascinating study, 67 subjects were given milkshakes containing varying amounts of fat and sugar while undergoing a brain MRI. Thirty-six of these subjects had a 10% or greater increase in their BMI in the previous 2 years. Thirty-one of these subjects were weight stable in the previous 2 years. The subjects who had gained weight showed a decreased responsivity in brain regions associated with taste and reward processing when consuming milkshakes high in fat and sugar. This would make them more likely to want to keep eating these unhealthy foods. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2019; 110:1275-86.  

Take Home Message
This study provides further evidence that there is an addictive component to eating unhealthy foods. I have noticed this with my clients for years. Although the mechanisms are not quite clear, it appears that the more high sugar and high fat food you eat, the more you want.

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