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Think what you eat: Studies point to cellular factors linking diet and behavior
Date:10/20/2009

ame progressively less responsive in rats fed a diet of high-fat, high-calorie food changes previously seen in rats as they became addicted to cocaine or heroin. Furthermore, the animals became less likely to eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet even when the less-palatable healthy food was all that was available. The finding may have implications for humans, as the diets were similar to those in developed countries (Paul J. Kenny, PhD, abstract 550.1, see attached summary).

Other research findings being discussed at the meeting show:

  • There is considerable evidence that body weight and fat mass are highly heritable traits and have strong genetic determinants. This offers the potential to identify specific brain-derived factors contributing to obesity, eating behavior, and responses to food (Sadaf Farooqi, PhD, see attached speaker's summary).

"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."


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Contact: Kat Snodgrass
ksnodgrass@sfn.org
202-637-4090
Society for Neuroscience
Source:Eurekalert

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