New research about chronic overeating

July 28, 2009 3:44:51 PM PDT
New research is shedding light on why an estimated 70 million people are chronic overeaters.The problem may lie in a section of the brain that controls desires. When most of us see a tempting food, the area, called the amygdala, lights up with activity. Once we start eating, the amygdala shuts off, but not for the overeater.

"This area of the brain should be shut off when you actually taste what you've been smelling. And in people that are overweight or obese, the area's not being shut off. And so it's still high," said Dr. David Kessler.

The desire to eat continues until they've eaten too much. Former FDA chief David Kessler, an admitted overeater, is now studying the problem.

He says foods with a lot of sugar, salt, and fat make it hard for overeaters to stop.

Kessler says the round-the-clock availability of food in America also makes it easy to consume too much.

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