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How Your Brain Can Make You Fat

Fiveyears ago, I told you how food addictions are related to changes inbrain chemistry that are not unlike those experienced by patients taking illegal drugs.The U.S. Department of Energy recently came to same conclusion, thistime with the assistance of a gastric stimulator, a device like apacemaker that influences the vagus nerve by telling the brain thestomach is full.

Researchers studied the chemistry of seven patients with those samestimulators by doing brain scans two weeks apart, during which apatient's gastric stimulator was turned on for one test and off for theother.

Traditional wisdom once assumed the hypothalamus alone controlled satiety, but researchers found no activitythere. Instead, when the stimulators were activated, the hippocampus,orbitofrontal cortex and striatum -- areas of the brain linked tosensory and motor impulses, emotional behavior and drug addiction -- were far more active.

No wonder, it often feels as if the emotional connection to cravingsis more powerful than the physical connection, just another reason whytreating emotions with a safe, effective tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique does matter.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences October 5, 2006 Free Full Text PDF

Consumer Affairs.com October 4, 2006

Yahoo News October 2, 2006

BBC News October 3, 2006