Navigation Links
Brains of Obese May Crave High-Calorie Foods More: Study

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A new study links low blood sugar in obese people to a greater desire within the brain for high-calorie foods, a finding that offers insight into why people who become overweight tend to stay that way.

"Their brains may be driving them to eat more and desire these foods more, and that may promote overeating," explained study author Kathleen A. Page. "We don't know if that's a consequence of obesity or contributes to the obese state. Are their brains wired differently from the start? Or does that happen after they become obese?"

Whatever the case, the research points to the importance of keeping blood sugar levels stable, said Page, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Southern California.

Levels of sugar in the blood are directly linked to energy, and those levels often drop after eating lunch and cause a mid-afternoon slump. Blood sugar levels also drop in the morning, and after you eat a high-sugar food, Page said. In that case, the body's processing of the excess sugar can cause levels to dip.

In the new study, published in the Sept. 19 online issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Page and colleagues tried to figure out if dips in blood sugar affect obese people differently than those who aren't overweight.

In the study, functional MRI scanners monitored the brains of five obese and nine non-obese people as researchers adjusted the levels of sugar in their blood, changing them from normal to low. At the same time, the researchers showed them pictures of foods that are low-calorie (various fruits and vegetables, tofu, soybeans, salads) and high-calorie foods (brownies, donuts, fried chicken, steak, ice cream and more).

The researchers found that the obese people had less brain activity in the area known as the prefrontal cortex, where powers of inhibition (choosing not to do things) are based, even when their blood sugar levels were normal. "That implies that obese people may have a harder time fighting off the urge to eat, especially when their sugar levels are below normal," Page said.

Jean-Philippe Chaput, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa's School of Human Kinetics, said the research is relevant because it provides greater understanding into how blood sugar affects eating habits. "Future obesity treatments will need to take that aspect into account if we want to improve our chances of success," Chaput said.

But Dr. Marc-Andre Cornier, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, cautioned that the study doesn't definitively link blood sugar to hunger. "The lower glucose may have impacted another factor that in turn was responsible for the effects," he said, adding that it's "pure speculation" to say that keeping blood sugar levels stable after meals will reduce hunger.

More information

For more about obesity, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Kathleen A. Page, Ph.D., assistant professor, medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Jean-Philippe Chaput, Ph.D., junior research chair, Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research, and assistant professor, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa; Marc-Andre Cornier, M.D., associate professor, medicine, University of Colorado, Denver; Sept. 19, 2011, The Journal of Clinical Investigation, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Alzheimers brains found to have lower levels of key protein
2. Learning information the hard way may be best boot camp for older brains
3. Profound reorganization in brains of adults who stutter
4. Like Those in Humans, Baby Chimps Forebrains Immature
5. Concussion Project Finds Disease in Two Autopsied Brains
6. Human Brains Wired to Empathize, Study Finds
7. Picower: 1 skull + 2 brains = 4 objects in mind
8. Some Brains Easily Distracted by Rewarding Stimuli
9. Scientists Find Molecular Similarities in Brains of Those With Autism
10. Mammals Brains Grew Larger to Enhance Sense of Smell: Study
11. Brains of Autistic Kids Still Larger at Age 4, 5
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Brains of Obese May Crave High-Calorie Foods More: Study
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as ... of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to ... one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, ... ... to helping both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented ... for the Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic ... many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping ... released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg ... Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among ... Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and honing ... contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor by ... Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , In ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... Ontario , June 27, 2016  VMS Rehab ... Company,s Board will take whatever measures required to build ... Company,s stock which is currently listed on the OTC ... Wexler, Company Chairman and CEO, "We are seeing an ... difficult to understand, not only by the Company, but ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... N.J. , June 24, 2016  Collagen ... the design, development and manufacturing of collagen and ... regeneration announced today that Bill Messer ... and Marketing to further leverage the growing portfolio ... medical devices. Bill joins the Collagen ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 ... the addition of the " Global Markets for ... This report focuses on ... updated review, including its applications in various applications. The ... which includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: