There was an interesting article in the local paper yesterday about why people overeat. The article is about David Kessler, the former head of the FDA in Canada. Through his research, he has come up with a new theory as to why people eat too much, and too much of certain foods. I have copied and pasted some excerpts for you
His [Kessler's] resulting theory, described in his new book, The End of Overeating, is startling. Foods high in fat, salt and sugar alter the brain’s chemistry in ways that compel people to overeat. “Much of the scientific research around overeating has been physiology — what’s going on in our body,” he said. “The real question is what’s going on in our brain.”
“Highly palatable” foods — those containing fat, sugar and salt — stimulate the brain to release dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with the pleasure centre, 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.
But 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.’ ”
Interesting, eh? Definitely "food for thought".
That's my Loser Monday post, Sharon. I never have any good news anymore. I may just have to go underground for a few weeks and, hopefully, come back a svelte, healthy person. I don't know how I'll swing that, though.
I didn't tell you how grad went, did I? It was wonderful. Thursday night was the commencement service at the Basilica. It included a liturgy (mass without the eucharist) and then a diploma ceremony. The diplomas aren't actually their High School diplomas, since school isn't finished for the year. They are simply a certificate of participation in the commencement. The service was really nice, though. The students all did really well and there were only a few glitches 'backstage' that nobody would have noticed. Here is a not-so-great picture of the church. You can see the students in their blue and white grad gowns in the main part of the church. It was packed with students, families, teachers... and it was very warm in there!
I wore my red skirt and got quite a few compliments on it. People were astounded that I made it myself and that surprises me. Not because everybody should know by now how talented I am ~ haha ~ but because I can't believe the number of women my age who can't sew. I thought every girl had to take home ec. in junior high. No?
Friday night was the banquet and dance, which was held at a convention centre downtown. It was beautiful. All those girls in their gorgeous prom dresses with their hair up. And the boys in tuxedos and real shoes. Wow! It made me a bit teary to see them all dressed up and looking so grown up. I didn't want to post photos of particular students, so here's one of the staff doing the traditional dance at 11:00 pm. That's me on the left-hand side of the photo in the brown dress (that I also made), acting like an idiot... and I wasn't even inebriated this year. It was a very late night ~ I got home at 2:00 am after clean up and making sure everyone was gone.
It's back to school for all of them today. But, not for me. Mr. P has an appointment at the hospital for some tests and the OnlyChild has a doctor's appointment, too, so I shall be taking the day off to drive them around. I'll have to make sure I take my textbooks with me, as I still have a chapter to read in each to stay on track for the week.
Happy Monday (if that's possible).