Weight gain influences brain’s response to food, study finds

Health Day (via USA Today) reports:

Most people probably find drinking a milkshake a pleasurable experience, sometimes highly so. But apparently that’s less apt to be the case among those who are overweight or obese.

Overeating, it seems, dims the neurological response to the consumption of yummy foods such as milkshakes, a new study suggests. That response is generated in the caudate nucleus of the brain, a region involved with reward…

“The higher your BMI (body mass index), the lower your caudate response when you eat a milkshake,” said study lead author Dana Small, an associate professor of psychiatry at Yale and an associate fellow at the university’s John B. Pierce Laboratory…

When asked how pleasurable they found the milkshake, overweight and obese participants in the study responded in ways that did not differ much from those of normal-weight participants, suggesting that the explanation is not that obese people don’t enjoy milkshakes any more or less.

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