Your Brain on Food

How chemicals control your thoughts and feelings.

Why Is Obesity So Hard to Defeat?

We are all well aware that eating diets high in fat and sugar leads to obesity. Somehow, the solution should be just as easy. Unfortunately, these diets actually change how the brain functions. This is how. Read More

Question

Is this true for other addictions?
Do alcoholics ‘like’ alcohol less than social drinkers?

It sounds rather irrational to want something more than you like it, I wonder if dopamine could malfunction to make you want something far less then you like it (opposite of addiction?)

can a change in eating habits

can a change in eating habits eventually correct this dopamine malfunction?

Do alcoholics ‘like’ alcohol less than social drinkers?

That's a great question. I am not aware that anyone has described such a phenomenon. Given that our brains evolved to induce us to perpetuate behaviors that bring pleasure, I think that it would be highly unlikely for us to want something far less then we liked it.

can a change in eating habits

You're asking how this situation might be reversed. Yes, our brains are quite adaptable (this study demonstrated this!) therefore I would expect that a change in eating habits would ultimately correct the dopamine malfunction.

Yes, it can be changed. It is

Yes, it can be changed. It is about adaption and we are very good at doing it. The key is slowly wean off these foods. Or go cold turkey, but dealing with the emotions that arise is the tricky bit. Very confronting. Ask any serious body builder.

Why is Obesity so Hard to Beat...

Fascinating article on obesity and dopamine. Working with obese and food addicted patients for years I find the heroin addict less challenged in recovery than the food addict due to the fact the obese person must eat several times a day and the heroin must abstain. Great article!

Why obesity is so hard to beat...

That’s very interesting about the dopamine dysfunction taking years to occur. Similarly, that long term dieting can have the opposite effect. Unfortunately, most consumers don’t know the amount of hardwiring that leads to poor decision making about food.

Too much Food

I think the American food addiction is partially caused by the food industry's need (greed) for higher profits. They have redefined what a proper portion is.

Agree

I totally agree with you. When I first visited the USA, I was shocked to see the size of the portions served (not to mention the size of the americans themselves). Two key factors in getting americans to lose excess fat are redefining portions back to a more healthy size, and to walk or take the bicycle instead of taking the car all the time.

I guess that leaving your car at home is also a big psychological challenge...

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Gary L. Wenk, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience & Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics at the Ohio State University.

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