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Feeling Fat? Blame Your Brain!

  By posted Mar 17th 2012
Blame Your Brain For The Type Of Food You Eat

If a recent study is to be believed, then it is not you who should be blamed for that sinful hogging act of yours, it's your brain that's behind it all! The study proved that whether you attack a third serving of French fries or load up on ice cream, the craving for fat foods is driven by your brain, which is instigated by insulin and leptin levels in your body. Published in the June 5th issue of Nature Neuroscience, today we've got Neurologist Dr Praveen Gupta to explain how this study is relevant to us in our every day lives.

Neurologist, Dr Praveen Gupta at Artemis Hospital
suggests that just like one may experience various moods, just looking at the food, brains certainly tend to work up your appetite. “Either one is not much informed about the health factor of a food item or one tends to ignore it simply based on the taste factor, it is quite easy for your brain to convince you into eating something which is unhealthy”.

How our brain functions is a very important factor in determining the type of food habits we develop and the amount we eat. Our thoughts and feelings can bring a change in the neurotransmitter and chemical environment in the brain which regulates hunger, satiation and body image. Food is a biological requirement but besides that all of us have personal psychological attitudes towards it. These attitudes influence the manner in which we interpret food, hunger and satiation and lead to various eating anomalies.

“Some people are food addicts, for them food is like a drug which they use in order to combat their negative thoughts and feelings- they need to eat as soon as they experience a strong emotion. This influences the neurotransmitters in the brain and these people tend to overeat and have a difficulty in experiencing satiation. Their brain relates to food as a drug and develops a strong dependency on food. There are others on the opposite end of continuum who use starvation as a mechanism to ensure self-control. Reducing food intake and starving gives them a sense of pride which helps them in coping with intense emotions. As a consequence, their brain adjusts to tolerating hunger pangs over time and craves for lesser amounts of food”, says Dr. Pulkit Sharma, Clinical Psychologist and Psychoanalytical Therapist at VIMHANS.

*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images  


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