Brain may sabotage efforts to lose weight

The sight of food turns different parts of the brain on in lean versus obese people, a new study finds

By Janet Raloff, 17:48 PM September 19, 2011

In obese people, even when the brain knows the body isn’t hungry, it responds to food as if it were, new brain-scan data show. That means that when obese people try to shed weight, they may find themselves on the losing side of a battle with neural centers that unconsciously encourage them to eat.

For instance, in normal-weight people a neural reward system that reinforces positive feelings associated with food turns off when levels of the blood sugar glucose return to normal after a meal —...

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