Posts Tagged ‘neuroscience’

Can Deep Brain Stimulation Stop Binge Eating?

November 14, 2022 — Two patients. This fits our definition of a small pilot study and Nature Medicine published it recently. In this study, Rajat Shivacharan and colleagues treated binge eating disorder and severe obesity in two patients, using responsive deep brain stimulation. It involves the placement of tiny electrodes in the brain, connected to a pulse generator implanted […]

Obesity Causes: Physiology, Genes, and Signals

October 18, 2022 — Yesterday was the first of three days exploring the best scientific thinking in the world on the causes of obesity. From the start, it was plain that obesity presents a puzzle. Physiology, genes, and signals regulate the storage of energy in adipose tissue and thus obesity. But one thing was clear after 12 scientists through […]

Food Cues in the Eat-More Food Environment

May 22, 2022 — Our food environment has changed to contribute to the rise in obesity over the last half century. People disagree about many things in the effort to find policies to reduce obesity. But this presumption is one that most of us can agree upon. The real question, though, is how to define these changes. Are ultra-processed […]

Study Says Sweeteners Prompt Food Cravings? Nope.

October 9, 2021 — Reporting on non-caloric sweeteners has more in common with reporting on religion than science reporting. We see a constant churn of reporting about studies by people who are looking for evidence to support a belief that sweeteners must be bad for you. The latest headline from NPR on this subject tells us these sweeteners “may […]

How the Brain Responds to Bariatric Surgery

July 10, 2021 — Most people – even many healthcare professionals – simply don’t get it. Because the popular concept of bariatric surgery is that it prevents people from eating – just by altering your gut. But the reality is that it works very differently. Bariatric surgery changes the signaling between the brain and the gut in ways that […]

The Phantom Paradox of Obesity and Brain Function

May 27, 2021 — Two serious health concerns – obesity and loss of brain function – intersect in curious ways. Good evidence suggests that obesity in early and mid life can have a negative effect on cognition. But later in life, the story is a bit fuzzier. In fact, some researchers have suggested the opposite might be true for […]

Is Convenient, Pleasing Food Addictive?

January 3, 2021 — Food addiction is a concept that sticks to the popular psyche. Yet it remains scientifically controversial. True believers will tell you that eating addictive food “lights up” parts of the brain involved in addiction. But then, just about anything that brings a person pleasure does that. So this is not an especially persuasive argument to […]

Sizzling Headlines About Brain Damage

November 29, 2019 — The PR team at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) hit a home run this week. They were playing in the ongoing contest to create the most misinformative but sizzling headlines about scientific research. Their winning headline was doozy: MRI reveals brain damage in obese teens. Of course, that misleading press release was only […]

Getting a Fix from Digital Screens and Food Rewards

April 7, 2019 — Is it mere coincidence that the rise of digital screen time has moved in parallel with the rise in obesity? A new paper points to a possible explanation. Researchers studied the effects of multitasking on digital screens by college students. They found a close relationship between heavy multitasking and and a stronger brain response to […]

Choosing to Eat and Breathe and Control Your Weight

February 28, 2019 — Choosing is something that people hold dear. Even if we’re not always good at it. So, quite naturally, when people assume that obesity is all about food (not exactly true), they assume that the answer is better food choices. But a new review from Trends in Cognitive Sciences gives us reason to pause and think. […]