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View Full Version : Stop The Presses! Tasty Food Blamed For Weight Gain!



Gingersnap
04-27-2009, 10:58 AM
This is the important part of the article:


"Highly palatable" foods -- those containing fat, sugar and salt -- stimulate the brain to release dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with the pleasure center, he found. In time, the brain gets wired so that dopamine pathways light up at the mere suggestion of the food, such as driving past a fast-food restaurant, and the urge to eat the food grows insistent. Once the food is eaten, the brain releases opioids, which bring emotional relief. Together, dopamine and opioids create a pathway that can activate every time a person is reminded about the particular food. This happens regardless of whether the person is hungry.

Not everyone is vulnerable to "conditioned overeating" -- Kessler estimates that about 15 percent of the population is not affected and says more research is needed to understand what makes them immune.

But for those like Kessler, the key to stopping the cycle is to rewire the brain's response to food -- not easy in a culture where unhealthy food and snacks are cheap and plentiful, portions are huge and consumers are bombarded by advertising that links these foods to fun and good times, he said.

Deprivation only heightens the way the brain values the food, which is why dieting doesn't work, he said.

What's needed is a perceptual shift, Kessler said. "We did this with cigarettes," he said. "It used to be sexy and glamorous but now people look at it and say, 'That's not my friend, that's not something I want.' We need to make a cognitive shift as a country and change the way we look at food. Instead of viewing that huge plate of nachos and fries as a guilty pleasure, we have to . . . look at it and say, 'That's not going to make me feel good. In fact, that's disgusting.' "

Kessler said he's made that shift in his own life, eating small portions of foods that contain fat, salt and sugar, part of a "food rehab" plan he suggests in the book. He has certain rules -- no french fries, ever -- that help him navigate through vulnerable moments.

He has embraced spinning -- the first time he has regularly exercised. "I hated physical activity, all of my life, mostly because I was fat and it was hard to do," he said. "But I just wanted to do something. I picked spinning because you can't fall off the bike." He worked with a private trainer for weeks just to be ready to take a class. "I was embarrassed to go into the class," he said.

Now Kessler tries to spin every day and belongs to multiple health clubs so that he has more options for class times.

He avoids the cues that focus his brain on "highly palatable" foods, going so far as to chart a different route through San Francisco International Airport so that he doesn't walk past the fried dumpling stand.

Kessler's weight is relatively stable at 162 pounds. But there's something else that's changed. As he has come to better understand himself, the food cravings and the resulting anguish he felt have subsided.

"So I'm at peace," he said. "After 30 years, I'm at peace."

Well, duh. I eat steamed broccoli all the time and I can tell you that no raw/steamed vegetable tastes as good as cookies or corn dogs or whatever. This is not a break through. Good luck with that demonizing thingy, though. Smokes smell bad, taste bad, and cause litter. Nachos do none of those things. :D

WaPo (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/26/AR2009042602711.html?hpid=sec-health)

FlaGator
04-27-2009, 11:15 AM
And I thought it was all that crappy tasting food I've been shoveling down for years. I guess I'd better stop.

linda22003
04-27-2009, 11:24 AM
I thought it was actually an interesting article, because what he describes does not affect everyone, and he says so. If some people have a Big Mac, their impulse is to crave fries and other crap. If I have a Big Mac, my response is to feel absolutely bilious for the next 24 hours, and not even step into a McDonald's for at least six months afterwards.

Gingersnap
04-27-2009, 11:30 AM
This kind of twisting of facts is disturbing to me. This guy is maintaining that eating tasty food causes the brain to release compounds that stimulate the pleasure centers. This makes tasty food the same as drugs in terms of "addiction". This medicalization of normal life has got to stop. We're about 10 minutes away from having foods restricted based on spurious fad science.

All this tasty food was available in the 80s yet most people weren't fat then. Why? Because most of them didn't feel good about wearing body conscious cloths when they looked fat. Also, fat people were still widely regarded as lazy and sexually pointless. Negative peer pressure has its uses (and its bad side). Nobody will look at a plate of nachos and think "that's disgusting". They can, however, be retrained to look at a fat nacho-eater and think "he/she's disgusting".

I'm not entirely sure we want that.

Rockntractor
04-27-2009, 11:37 AM
This is the important part of the article:



Well, duh. I eat steamed broccoli all the time and I can tell you that no raw/steamed vegetable tastes as good as cookies or corn dogs or whatever. This is not a break through. Good luck with that demonizing thingy, though. Smokes smell bad, taste bad, and cause litter. Nachos do none of those things. :D

WaPo (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/26/AR2009042602711.html?hpid=sec-health)
I beg your pardon I love broccoli! Dripping with butter of course.

noonwitch
04-27-2009, 01:55 PM
So it's Edie's fault I'm fat because they make ice cream that tastes so good?!


Edie's Loaded Cookies and Cream is really, really good.

Rockntractor
04-27-2009, 02:22 PM
So it's Edie's fault I'm fat because they make ice cream that tastes so good?!


Edie's Loaded Cookies and Cream is really, really good.
I like plain vanilla with busted up ritz crackers chocolate syrup and peanuts on it in a big bowl.Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!