A  A  A   Print
Brain Scans Suggest 'Food Addiction' Might Be Real

Brain Scans Suggest 'Food Addiction' Might Be Real

WEDNESDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- New brain scan research supports the notion that some people have a food "addiction," with foods like white bread or potatoes helping to spur their craving to eat.

Researchers used functional ("real time") MRI to observe the brain activity of 12 overweight or obese men during the crucial four hours after they ate a meal, a period that experts say influences eating behavior during the next meal.

The participants' blood sugar levels and hunger were also measured during this time.

The men's "meals" were two milkshakes that had the same calories, taste and sweetness. The only difference was that one milkshake contained high-glycemic index carbohydrates and the other had low-glycemic index carbohydrates.

High-glycemic index carbohydrates -- which are quickly transformed into sugar in the blood -- are found in highly processed foods such as white bread and white rice. Low-glycemic index carbohydrates are found in items such as whole wheat products and sweet potatoes.

The researchers found that consuming carbohydrates like those found in processed foods can cause excess hunger and stimulate areas of the brain involved in reward and cravings, regions that also play a role in addiction, according to the study published June 26 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study might have implications for weight control, the researchers said.

"Limiting high-glycemic index carbohydrates like white bread and potatoes could help obese individuals reduce cravings and control the urge to overeat," study leader Dr. David Ludwig, director of the obesity prevention center at Boston Children's Hospital, said in a hospital news release.

More information

The Harvard School of Public Health has more about carbohydrates.

SOURCE: Boston Children's Hospital, news release, June 26, 2013

 

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.