If your diet is high in saturated fat and refined sugar, you’ve better be careful – you’re not just on the path to obesity, you’re also wiring your brain to provoke overconsumption of those same sugary, fatty foods you shouldn’t be eating, making future weight loss incredibly challenging.
The director of American University’s Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, Terry Davidson, states:
“It is a vicious cycle that may explain why obesity is so difficult to overcome.”
The area of the brain targeted in the study was the hippocampus, its most notable function being memory and learning. Researchers believe that a sugary and fatty diet negatively affects the healthy function of the hippocampus, which results in an inability to suppress positive thoughts for nutritionally-deficient foods. Although the research was conducted on rats, researchers are confident that the findings are applicable to humans.
Davidson sums it up:
“What I think is happening is a vicious cycle of obesity and cognitive decline. The idea is, you eat the high fat/high calorie diet and it causes you to overeat because this inhibitory system is progressively getting fouled up. And unfortunately, this inhibitory system is also for remembering things and suppressing other kinds of thought interference.”