Is Your Brain Making You Obese?

How you answer that question may have less to do with willpower than you might think. Virginia Tech scientists are taking a deep dive into the brain chemistry that drives cravings for unhealthy fatty foods. Their goal: To find out if the nation’s ever-expanding waistline has as much to do with that’s in our heads as what we put into our bellies.

Armed with a new $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, the researchers have launched a new study to understand the brain circuitry that may be a key driver of the nation’s obesity crisis. Specifically, the scientists are looking at the wiring in our brains that makes us eat too much high-fat food after a period of avoiding them.

Lead researcher Sora Shin, PhD, says she hopes the work will explain a key reason why so many dieters fail. The findings could clarify why cutting your favorite tasty treats out of your diet can actually make you crave them even more – and point the way to potential new approaches to combat overeating.

Excerpted from WebMD

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