The twelve step program Overeaters Anonymous states “We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable.” A new study has found a biological basis for food addiction, how the brain’s pleasure centers react to high glycemic index foods like white rice, white flour and sugar.
David S. Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D. Professor in the Department of Nutrition of the Harvard School of Public Health led the team that did study at Boston Children’s Hospital. At two different times, a dozen overweight men between18-35 were given matching test meals blended as milk shakes with the same taste and calories. One shake contained carbohydrates that were rapidly converted to glucose (high-glycemic index carbs) while the other contained carbs that took a long time to be fully digested.
Compared to the men eating the low glycemic index meal, those who ate the high glycemic index carbs had an immediate spike in glucose followed by a crash in blood sugar levels four hours later which produced extreme hunger. As monitored by magnetic image resonance scans the low blood sugar produced intense brain activity in the nucleus accumbens that spread to the right striatum and the olfactory area. “Beyond reward and craving, this part of the brain is also linked to substance abuse and dependence, which raises the question as to whether certain foods might be addictive,” said Ludwig.
The conclusions reinforce the importance of eating low glycemic index foods to reduce craving and control obesity, as urged by scientists from Harvard Yale and MIT in the anti-aging documentary, “Reverse Aging Now. The Children's Hospital study was published in the June 2013 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In June the American Medical Association officially classified obesity as a disease. "The purpose of the policy is to advance obesity treatment and prevention," wrote AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven. "It issues a call for a paradigm shift in the way the medical community tackles this complicated issue so that we can reduce the number of Americans suffering from the effects of heart disease, diabetes, disability and other potentially life-changing health conditions."
Obesity rates have increased dramatically in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 36 percent of Americans adults are obese. Most alarming is that 17 percent of children are obese. In the same way that it's possible for a 60 year old to have the body of a 50 year old many of these children now have the cardiovascular conditions of middle aged people.
Classifying obesity as a disease is expected to increase the availability of insurance coverage for anti-obesity treatments including the development of new medication, and weight loss surgery such as gastric restrictive procedure like stomach stapling and lap band surgery as well as malabsorptive procedures which don't emphasize stomach size reduction but instead reroute the digestive system to limit body's assimilation of calories and nutrients.
On a hot summer night few desserts are as simple to make and as refreshing as this one. Ingredients are per person
3 large chilled strawberries
1 small chilled orange
3 ounces nonfat Greek yogurt
Take three, chilled, large strawberries and an orange. Peel and separate the orange. Wash and quarter the strawberries. Put in a bowl. Mix. Liberally dollop with non fat Greek Yogurt. Savor. It’s cold, sweet and utterly delicious. 150 calories 10 grams of protein 28 grams of carbohydrates
There is no fat in the dish. The 10 grams of protein per serving slow the conversion of the carbohydrates to blood glucose. As an added bonus you get 100 mg of calcium.
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Reverse Aging News ©2013 Checkmate Pictures - Paul M. J. Suchecki, Editor
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Photo of heart exam by Amanda Mills courtesy of Public Health Image Library. Brown rice and lentils photos courtesy of photos-public-domain.com