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Friday, November 18, 2011

Today in Science: Hunger Makes You Snarf Junk Food

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 7:30 AM

Next time you order nachos, blame hormones.
  • Next time you order nachos, blame hormones.

Didn't your parents teach you never to go shopping on an empty stomach? Now, neuroscience -- science! -- confirms that, unlike the prohibition against swimming right after dinner, you should follow their advice.

As the UK Guardian reports, researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute have confirmed that your brain, under the influence of the hunger-inducing hormone ghrelin, is drawn to fattier, saltier foods. The researchers conducted a blind study in which they injected some study participants with ghrelin and others with saline, and then asked all of them to bid small amounts of money on hundreds of objects, some foods and some inedible. The extra-hungry subjects offered to bid higher prices on higher-calorie foods.

The researchers' conclusions: Don't skip meals. Also, cheap high-calorie foods are making us obese. Now, when you're imparting life lessons to your own children, feel free to back up your advice with academic research.

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Jonathan Kauffman

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