Obesity is a brain disease made worse by an American diet, new research suggests.
A key factor that helps control how much we eat is the feeling of hunger or fullness. Normally, when we are hungry, food thoughts are at the forefront of our mind. After we eat enough, those thoughts fade away.
However, a study by Macquarie University has found that this natural brain process is hampered by the Western diet. Basically its a “vicious cycle” model of obesity.
The researchers also found that those on the unhealthy Western-style diet were slower at learning and had a poorer memory than those who ate a healthier diet. Previous research has suggested that middle-aged adults who are overweight and obese are at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia compared to people of normal weight.
And children as young as seven may suffer from an impaired memory because of a fat and sugar-rich Western diet.
It’s not just the calories in a Western diet making us overweight. The diet itself makes us less sensitive to feelings of fullness, causing us to eat more. This information could be a great motivation to get people to eat a healthy diet and perhaps reduce rates of obesity.
Eat a healthy diet: Expand your dietary horizons. You give your brain the best possible chance to lower your weight if you eat more vegetables (5 to 10 servings a day, or half the food on your plate), minimize added sugars, refined grains and processed foods and cook from scratch whenever you can.
Your body can deal much more accurately with the food you prepare yourself than it can with packets and tins, making it much more likely you’ll eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.