Researchers have discovered that you can blame your pudgy middle on bad chemicals.
According to researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, a hormone secreted by the stomach can cause junkie-like behavior when you see food.
Pizza? Score! Chicken wings? Groovy! Chocolate cake? Drop that man!
The guilty culprit is not your lack of willpower, it’s the hormone ghrelin, which is made in your stomach. As you get hungry, ghrelin levels rise and when you’ve eaten, they wane. In the study, volunteers were given a shot of ghrelin and then shown pictures of scrumptious, irresistible food. Their brains lit up just like a junkie’s.
Alain Dagher, a neurologist at McGill, says this is probably an evolutionary mechanism that encouraged our distant ancestors to bulk up on tasty calories whenever they had a chance (which probably wasn’t very often.) Fast forward a few thousand years, to the Era of Addictive Chicken, and this spells an obesity epidemic.
According to the New Scientist: “Several pharmaceutical companies already have their sights set on ghrelin, as drugs that block the hormone may quell hunger and fight obesity.”
The problem? If you turn off the hormone, it may affect other parts of your brain. Like, the segment of your cerebellum that makes you happy. The part that prevents you from falling into a deep, sponge-cake-like depression. And then killing yourself.
So, a danger of suicide, but at least you wouldn’t be fat anymore.