Studies released today explore the neurological component of dietary disorders, uncovering evidence that the brain's biological mechanisms may contribute to significant public health challenges -- obesity, diabetes, binge eating, and the allure of the high-calorie meal.
The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2012, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.
Scientists are ultimately searching for new ways to treat diet-related disorders while raising awareness that diet and obesity affect mental as well as physical health.
Today's new findings show that:
Other recent findings discussed show that:
"These are fascinating studies because they show the brain is an often overlooked yet significant organ in an array of dietary disorders," said press conference moderator Paul Kenny, PhD, of The Scripps Research Institute in Florida, an expert on addiction and obesity. "Many of these findings have the potential to lead to new interventions that can help reduce the ranks of the obese, helping those who struggle daily with dietary decisions reassert control over what they eat."
This research was supported by national funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as private and philanthropic organizations.
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