The answer may lie in our brains.
As research suggests we are more likely to overeat when eating junk food, and we’re more likely than others to skip meals, it’s clear that our brains need some attention.
The researchers studied people who were part of a study designed to investigate how the brain processes food and how that impacts our eating habits.
They recruited 14 volunteers and asked them to take part in a three-day study that focused on food-processing behaviours and food-related memory.
They were asked to eat a range of food items for three days before testing began.
The participants were asked how much they were willing to eat during the day, and how often they wanted to eat the foods they were asked not to eat.
“We were also interested in the way food influences how the individual is able to regulate the intake of food,” Dr Pang said.
“Foods like sugars and fats have a significant influence on the brain and we know from studies that the hippocampus is involved in regulating our eating behaviour and controlling our appetite.”
In the laboratory we found that in terms of the way they were able to manipulate the intake, the subjects were able with a relatively large amount of food intake to suppress appetite in a short time, but not to suppress their appetite during the rest of the day.
“Dr Pang and colleagues believe this may be due to the hippocampus’s involvement in food reward and reward processing.”
The hippocampal network may also play a role in food-preference,” Dr Domingo said.
The researchers found that the subjects who ate the most were able, at least on a small scale, to eat more calories than those who ate fewer calories.
But, in general, people who ate a lot of food were less likely to feel hungry, as were those who were more likely not to be able to control their appetite.
The study also found that people who reported a high level of control over their appetite were more inclined to eat as much as possible during the three days, with those who reported high levels of control reported eating more during the two-day period.
In the long term, the study suggests that, even though the brain is involved, our bodies do not always understand how we’re using our food, Dr Pangs said.
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