Wired for Hunger: The Brain and Obesity
Because food is not always plentiful, humans have evolved to eat whenever it is available. Researchers are starting to tease out the brain circuits that elicit this “eat” message, a network that may contribute to today’s widespread obesity. Effective obesity treatment likely will involve combination of drugs, in addition to psychological approaches and exercise—not just a single pill.
Obesity: Matter Over Mind?
Despite the determination that drives millions to buy diet books and enroll in weight-reduction programs, our epidemic of obesity rolls on, contributing annually to the deaths of 300,000 Americans. What accounts for this gulf between good intentions and outcomes, our willpower and our behavior? Rockefeller University scientist Jules Hirsch, an authority on the brain’s regulatory system for the storage of body fat, turns our attention from willpower and food intake to “a complex set of interacting regulatory systems” that create and sustain obesity.