Why we Can’t Stop Eating

Brain MaroonOne of the most profound scientific reports came out this month that sheds light on why food addiction is so hard to overcome and the serious consequences for our health as a society.  This article from JAMAIncreasing Adiposity Consequence or Cause of Overeating? by David Ludwig, PhD., discusses research on how fat cells, called adipocytes, are formed in our body as a way to save calories for times when we later need them.  The author pulls from several studies that show that when more and more of these fat cells start to get deposited in our bodies they begin to act like a sponge that becomes very efficient at removing calorie producing molecules, like sugars, from our to be stored as fat.  This essentially starves our bodies of calories and causes extreme hunger and the need to eat again.  The cycle worsens as more and more fat cells are formed and more and more calories are pulled into storage.  Ludwig reports this in the major reason why most calorie restrictive diets don’t work.  The obese or overweight person is actually calorie deficient in the first place and a more restrictive diet would be impossible to follow.

This new research indicates that insulin  is one of the most important factors as to why calories are stored as fat cells and not used as energy.  After a meal of carbohydrates insulin levels increase rapidly to pull the extra sugar molecules from our blood into our cells.  The simple processed sugars such as sucrose (cane sugar) found in almost all processed foods we eat causes so much insulin to be released that too much sugar leaves the blood and our brains begin to feel we are starving to death.  Carbohydrates are the primary stimulant to drive insulin higher and reduce blood sugar levels, not fats or protein.  Since the 1980’s we have shift many of the fats found in our food supply to sugars.  This has not slowed the obesity epidemic one bit and in fact has literally added fuel to the fire.  Carbohydrates (Sugars) are the one thing that has consistently been shown to contribute to food addiction.

In Ludwig’s conclusion he points out that by reducing the amount of carbohydrates consumed and replacing them with health fats (mono and polyunsaturated) and protein many studies have  successfully resulted in long term weight loss.  Being healthy starts with both determination and learning what  the right choices are for better health.  Put down that glass of sugary soda and try a protein shake instead.

Learn More Here


Tri-State Neurosurgical Associates-UPMC
Office Addresses:
Administrative Oakland Office
Presbyterian University Hospital
Department of Neurosurgery
Suite 5C
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 1-888-234-4357

© 2014 Tri-State Neurosurgical Associates – UPMC