Years of research now further proves that availability of cheap, fast food has had a direct link to obesity. “Obesity is increasing worldwide in adults and children and is currently viewed by many as one of the most serious threats to public health. It is likely that solutions to the obesity pandemic will require changes in public policy and that scientific insight into obesity will be invaluable for guiding those changes. Now, a new review of human brain imaging studies published by Cell Press in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests that a major reason for the dramatic increase in obesity may be a heightened sensitivity to heavily advertised and easily accessible high-calorie foods.
“Functional neuroimaging of the human brain allows non-invasive mapping of brain activity in health and disease,” explains review author Dr. Alain Dagher from the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University. “It is now commonly used to try to understand the neural control of eating in humans, and patterns of brain activity thought to underlie obesity have emerged. In particular, there has been great interest in looking at the brain for the source of vulnerability to overeating in a world of cheap, abundant, high-calorie food. As a result of this research, differences between lean and obese individuals are starting to emerge.”
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