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Exercise helps us to eat a healthy diet
Date:11/23/2011

se of public transport or availability of pedestrianised areas and sports facilities.

Exercise modifies the brain

Eating and physical activity are behaviours and are therefore influenced by cognitive processes that are a result of activity in different areas of the brain. Previous studies have already assessed changes in the brain and cognitive functions in relation to exercise: regular physical exercise causes changes in the working and structure of the brain.

The experts point out that these changes seem to have a certain specificity. The Harvard researcher supports the notion that "regular exercise improves output in tests that measure the state of the brain's executive functions and increases the amount of grey matter and prefrontal connections."

Inhibitory control is one of the executive functions of the brain and is basically the ability to suppress inadequate and non-conforming answers to an aim (the opposite of this would be impulsiveness), which makes modification or self-regulations of a behaviour possible.

With regards to losing weight and sustaining weight loss in the long run, various recent studies suggest that executive functions such as inhibitory control and optimal functioning of the brain's prefrontal areas could be the key to success. This success is mainly the fruit of a behavioural change. Inhibitory control could also help to prevent weight gain in healthy people.

The researcher outlines that "in time, exercise produces a potentiating effect of executive functions including the ability for inhibitory control, which can help us to resist the many temptations that we are faced with everyday in a society where food, especially hypercaloric food, is more and more omnipresent."

Spain leader in obesity

There has been an alarming rise in cases of obesity in Spain in recent years, so much so that prevalence in various areas of the country is higher than in many
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Contact: Miguel Alonso-Alonso; Harvard University
malonso@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-0240
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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