Health Watch - Eating Habits: Eating When Full

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This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about developing healthier eating habits. One bad eating habit is eating when you’re not really hungry – especially when you’re eating nutritionally empty foods.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that there’s a reason we’ll eat dessert even when we’re already full. It’s because of a hormone that intensifies the feeling of pleasure we get from foods. Dr. Jeffrey Zigman, a UT Southwestern psychiatrist and internist, says this sense of reward motivates us to find pleasurable foods and remember where and how we found them. It’s a similar response to what’s seen in alcohol and drug addictions. In a study, mice that had already eaten chose to go into a room where they’d once eaten high-fat food, even when there was no food in the room. But when the hormone was blocked, they didn’t choose that room. Humans and mice have similar brain centers and hormones

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in nutrition.



February 2010

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