Overweight People Think Differently

About food:

ATHK67For some time, scientists have known that many overweight people’s brains operate differently than the brains of thinner people when they look at images related to eating. In previous neurological studies, when heavier volunteers viewed pictures of food or food preparation, they typically developed increased activity in portions of the brain involved in reward processing, or an urge to like things, including in an area called the putamen. At the same time, their brains showed relatively blunted activity in areas that are thought to induce satiety, or the ability to know when you are full. These changes generally are reversed in the brains of thinner people shown the same images.

About exercise:

The resulting readouts revealed that overweight women’s brains were put off by exercise…

Emotionally, the brain scans suggested, they anticipated disliking physical activity much more than they expected to disdain sitting.

Leaner women’s brain activity, by and large, was the opposite, with the putamen lighting up when they watched others work out and envisaged doing the same themselves. (NYT)

Comments (16)

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  1. Ted says:

    Well that’s interesting.

  2. Connor says:

    “Overweight women’s brains respond differently to images of exercise than do the brains of leaner women, a sophisticated new neurological study finds, suggesting that our attitudes toward physical activity may be more influenced by our body size than has previously been understood.”

    This is just giving overweight people more of an excuse to not workout and eat junk food.

  3. Trent says:

    “The resulting readouts revealed that overweight women’s brains were put off by exercise.”

    Well duh. Exercise is hard.

  4. Lacey says:

    “Encourage people to pursue physical activities and exercise that they actually find pleasurable and might enjoy” – Shouldn’t that be a given? Exercise in a way you enjoy?

    • Trent says:

      You would think so, but those who don’t exercise understand pretty much nothing of the activity.

  5. Wally says:

    “Such data might at first seem discouraging, underscoring the possibility that being obese or overweight is self-reinforcing, although it is impossible to know from this study whether a dislike of exercise contributed to or resulted from weight gain.”

    That’s a lie. Of course they will gather that it’s reinforcing.

    • Lucas says:

      Yes, to make the argument that it isn’t is just disrespectful to the people who actually work out.

      • Bart says:

        Yeah, those are the ones who truly suffer. They get told that they are programmed to so its easier. But in fact every day of their lives is a struggle to not revert back.

  6. Henry says:

    More garbage science!