Does Exercise Make You Overeat?

by drsjbecker on May 3, 2012

Some people respond to exercise by eating more. Others eat less. For many years, scientists thought that changes in hormones, spurred by exercise, dictated whether someone’s appetite would increase or drop after working out. But now new neuroscience is pointing to another likely cause. Exercise may change your desire to eat, two recent studies show, by altering how certain parts of your brain respond to the sight of food.

In one study, scientists brought 30 young, active men and women to a lab at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo for two experimental sessions, where they draped their heads in functional M.R.I. coils. The researchers wanted to track activity in portions of the brain known as the food-reward system, which includes the poetically named insula, putamen and rolandic operculum. These brain regions have been shown to control whether we like and want food. In general, the more cells firing there, the more we want to eat.

The New York Times (NY) – by Gretchen Reynolds (Monday, April 16, 2012) –


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