Tag Archives | obesity research

Professor Quippy: Scoring Pizza & Bad Stomach Chemicals

Professor QuippyResearchers 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.

Humor-blogs.com is hopped up on laughter. Alltop too.

Professor Quippy: How to prevent Cookie-Monster-itis

Professor QuippyAre you an insatiable snacking machine? Covered in blue fur? Now there is hope.

New research from the University of Birmingham in the UK indicates it may be possible to stop yourself from snacking if you use your brain.

They ran a test in which half the volunteers were asked to vividly remember and describe their last meal — lunch in this case — and the other half were asked to remember their last haircut. Then delicious, delicious cookies were served. Those who were asked to remember their last meal ate fewer cookies (or “biscuits” in UK parlance).

The researchers believe the vivid, specific memory stimulates the hippocampus, which they say may play an important role in decision-making and memory-processing. “One possibility is remembering recent eating boosts the influence this information has on decision-making,” says Suzanne Higgs, lead researcher on the study.

No word yet on what effect remembering previous meals has on removing one’s hideous pelt.

Though there are fewer Muppets references, New Scientist has more details. Humor-blogs.com is also covered in blue fur. Anyone else think the cookie monster might have some serious food issues? And yes, I am dieting.


Professor Quippy: Counterintuitive dieting tips

Professor QuippyIf you’re a fat bastard trying to shed a few pounds, you may want to lay off the artificial sweeteners.

According to a study from Purdue University, rats fed a diet of artificially sweetened yoghurt ate more and gained more weight than those fed yoghurt sweetened with sugar.

Okay, so if you’re a pudgy rat, then avoid the artificial sweeteners for sure, but the researchers believe there may be similar effect on humans. They think the artificial sweetener may screw up the body’s natural ability to track calories based on sweetness, and cause it to want to eat more.

They may also increase your craving for garbage and cause an uncontrollable urge to enter politics.

You can find more of the whiskery details at the Globe and Mail. Other failed dieting plans here.