“Once you pop, you just can’t stop” is the motto of a chips brand. And it is not just a slogan; according to scientists it is exactly what happens in reality: you only want to eat one thing, but once you started you can’t stop until you finish the whole bag.
A recent study by researchers at FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg explains what happens in our brain that makes it so hard to give up junk food.
This phenomenon is called “hedonic hyperphagia” and appears in hundreds of millions of people around the world. “This is the scientific term to describe excessive consumption of food not because you are hungry, but just for pleasure,” explains the study author Dr. Tobias Hoch. “Recreational eating can occur to anyone at any given time. Chronic form of this disorder is a key factor in triggering obesity epidemic.”
The researchers conducted a study on rats that consumed three types of food: special food for rats, potato chips and a mixture of carbohydrates and fats. This third type of food was used as scientists consider that people consume a lot of crisps and chocolate because these foods contain more fat and carbohydrates than the usual food, and once they get in the body they send ‘pleasure’ signals to the brain.
Rats consumed three types of food in similar quantities. However, the scientists discovered that they… read more