New research released today is affirming a long-held maxim: you are what you eat and, more to the point, what you eat has a profound influence on the brain. The findings offer insight into the neurobiological factors behind the obesity epidemic in the United States and other developed countries. The findings exposed changes in brain chemistry due to diet and weight gain, and were reported at Neuroscience 2009, the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.
Obesity has been linked to rises in diabetes, stroke, and heart attacks, among other disorders. In the past decade alone, medical spending for obesity is estimated to have increased 87 percent in the United States reaching $147 billion in 2008 according to a study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new research adds another dimension to understanding how obesity rates have more than doubled in the past 30 years.
The new findings show that:
Other research findings being discussed at the meeting show:
"The brain is the foundation of all behavior, including eating," said press conference moderator Ralph DiLeone, PhD, of Yale University School of Medicine, an expert on the neural mechanisms of food intake and behavior. "With the growing rates of obesity in industrialized nations, brain research is important to understanding the underlying neurobiological responses to high-fat diet."
|Contact: Kat Snodgrass|
Society for Neuroscience