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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Exercise May Encourage Healthy Eating Via Brain Changes

Probably not.
Exercise may encourage healthy eating by changing parts of the brain that influence impulsive behaviour, according to a new review of the available literature by researchers from Spain and the US published in Obesity Reviews. The researchers conclude that in a society where we are surrounded by temptations and triggers that facilitate over-eating and excess, the part of the brain responsible for "inhibitory control" undergoes "relentless strain" (they note it has limited capacity anyway), and doing exercise on a regular basis enhances it.

"By enhancing the resources that facilitate 'top-down' inhibitory control, increased physical activity may help compensate and suppress the hedonic drive to over-eat," they write.

Obesity has been rising at an alarming rate in Spain in recent years, so much so that in some parts of Spain, the proportion of the population that is obese is higher than that in many parts of the United States, the country traditionally considered as having the highest obesity rates in the western world.

Also, in line with other countries in the Mediterranean, Spain has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in Europe.
Maybe it is just that people who invest time and energy in a pursuit don't want to spoil it - Occam's Razor.

BTW, notice that this proponent of the Mediterranean Diet, has "one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in Europe."

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