RadioMD: The Dr. Leigh Vinocur Show

Food Cues & Obesity: Does Your Brain Influence What You Eat?

November 20, 20159 min
What is a food cue, and what happens in your brain when you see one?Obesity is a very serious disease that can cause health issues like heart disease and diabetes.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third (78.6 million) of people in the U.S. are obese.Two studies have recently given insight to your brain, how it responds to food cues, and why that matters in obesity. In the first study, researchers performed an fMRI on 12 lean and 17 obese participants, showing words representing high-energy dense foods (chicken wings, lemon cheesecake) and low-energy dense foods (red-leaf lettuce or summer squash).Researchers then asked the participants to rate how much they wanted to eat each food item. They found that the brains of the obese participants had a stronger reaction to the high-energy dense food than the lean participants.What did the other study suggest about food cues and obesity?Listen in as Susan Carnell, PhD, shares the recent findings of the two studies and how food cues relate to obesity.

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