This Is Why We Can’t Stop Eating Junk Food

This Is Why We Can’t Stop Eating Junk Food

This Is Why We Can’t Stop Eating Junk Food.

New Delhi: The scientists finally have explanation for why we cannot resist a bite of unhealthy junk food like french fries and candy bars. According to the research, the foods that are high in both fats and carbohydrates have a strong influence on our brain’s reward system.

Foods rich in carbohydrates and fat activate the reward systems of the brain, through different signalling pathways. The effect gets even more intensified, if carbohydrates and fats come together in the food.

The foods with a high proportion of fats and carbohydrates are not found in nature: either they are rich in fats, as in nuts, or rich in carbohydrates, as in the case of potatoes or cereals. An exception is breast milk.

Also Read: An Egg A Day May Keep Heart Diseases Away

 “Probably we are influenced by breast milk to respond intensively to food rich in carbohydrates and fats and perceive this as particularly rewarding, because this is vital,” said Marc Tittgemeyer from the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Germany.

According to TOI, The scientists wanted to know if people show preferences for foods of different calorie sources. To find the answer to this question, 40 volunteers played a computer for food. The offered foods were high in fat, carbohydrates or both.

The subjects had to outbid the computer, to earn the food and thereby the willingness to pay was examined. Most of the money was offered for the high-fat and high-carbohydrate food indicating that it was apparently the most attractive to the participants of the study.

The study of subjects’ brain activity was done in a magnetic resonance tomography. The measurements showed that a combination of fats and carbohydrates activates the brain areas of the reward system more intensively than the other foods on offer. This finding was found to be consistent with the results of the game. A reward that has contributed to human survival in evolution is destroying us in today’s world of abundance.

Tittgemeyer said, “We are not meant to say no all the time. That is why we usually do not stop eating, even though we’re full.”

The reward signals from the brain overshadow satiety, which lead to consequences such as over-saturation and obesity.

Further, it is also difficult to estimate the nutritional value of high-fat and carbohydrate-rich food. When the participants were asked to estimate the calorie content of the food, they succeeded in predicting succeeded in the high-fat or carbohydrate food relatively accurately.  But it was found that they were often wrong when it came to foods high in fats and carbohydrates.

These new findings can help in the treatment of overweight people.


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