Your chocolate addiction really is beyond your control!
What woman doesn't love a decadent savory piece of chocolate? Admit it, you promise yourself you'll have one bite, but you end up devouring an entire bag of the sweet stuff. Now science is telling us that our cravings are indeed beyond our control. The new study conducted by the University of Michigan found that our brains react to chocolate the way a drug addict responds to drug scenes.
Scientists placed rats in two different areas and injected some with an artifical drug straight to the neostriatum (the part of the brain which controls movement and rewards) while letting them eat as many M&M chocolates as they wanted. Researchers found that the group injected with the drug devoured more chocolate and that the natural endorphin, enkephalin, produced by the brain increased as well. This just means that our brain is our own worst enemy when it comes to food consumption!
Scientists found that cravings aren't controlled by one part of the brain, but instead are charged by an entire circuit. The problem with these neurotransmitters is that it causes people to overconsume on their "rewards" which is why we overeat on sweets and other fatty food. Research also concluded that the brain area that was tested becomes active when obese people see food and when drug addicts see their favorite fix.
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I love a good piece of chocolate from time to time, but now it makes total sense why I feel the need to eat an entire bar in one sitting. As researchers discovered, it wasn't the endorphins or the drugs that made the rats want to eat more chocolate, but the brain chemicals that increased the desire and impulse to continue eating them.
Unfortunately there is no solution to stop these cravings yet, but it may be helpful for future studies on controlling the obesity epidemic. Their next experiement will involve finding out the effect fast food has on our brains and our desire for it--which I think will be helpful to eventually finding an effective method to control unhealthy eating.
With Halloween coming up, I'll just TRY to only eat a handful of M&M's and not a whole bag...no promises though!
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