Why 'food porn' holds no allure when we’re satiated

Food

Researchers from the University of British Columbia have shed light on why enticing pictures of food affect us less when we're full.

"We've known that insulin plays a role in telling us we're satiated after eating, but the mechanism by which this happens is unclear," said Stephanie Borgland, an assistant professor in UBC's Dept. of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics and the study's senior author.

In the new study, Borgland and colleagues found that insulin – prompted by a sweetened, high-fat meal – affects the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the brain, which is responsible for reward-seeking behaviour. When insulin was applied to the VTA in mice, they no longer gravitated towards environments where food had been offered.

"Insulin dulls the synapses in this region of the brain and decreases our interest in seeking out food," said Borgland, "which in turn causes us to pay less attention to food-related cues."

"This study helps explain why pictures or other cues of food affect us less when we're satiated – and may help inform strategies to reduce environmental triggers of overeating," the researcher added.

The VTA has also been shown to be associated with addictive behaviours, including illicit drug use.

Borgland noted that better understanding of the mechanism in this region of the brain could, in the long run, inform diagnosis and treatment.

The study has been published online this week in Nature Neuroscience.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views, opinions and comments posted are your, and are not endorsed by this website. You shall be solely responsible for the comment posted here. The website reserves the right to delete, reject, or otherwise remove any views, opinions and comments posted or part thereof. You shall ensure that the comment is not inflammatory, abusive, derogatory, defamatory &/or obscene, or contain pornographic matter and/or does not constitute hate mail, or violate privacy of any person (s) or breach confidentiality or otherwise is illegal, immoral or contrary to public policy. Nor should it contain anything infringing copyright &/or intellectual property rights of any person(s).
comments powered by Disqus