Are some people’s brains wired to make them want to eat?

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PEOPLE who are more obese are more tempted to eat because their brain is wired differently.

That’s the view of US researchers who found that obese people had a greater level of dopamine activity in the region of the brain which controls habit.

Cooking smells or even food adverts have a stronger pull releasing the dopamine and making it harder to control a healthy weight.

Dopamine is the ‘pleasure chemical’ which influences reward, motivation and habit formation.

Most drugs cause the release of dopamine, so it is thought to contribute to why some can be addictive.

U.S. researchers found that obese people tended to have greater dopamine activity in the region of the brain that controls habit and less activity in the region of the brain that controls reward.

One expert said: “While we cannot say whether obesity is a cause or an effect of these patterns of dopamine activity, eating based on unconscious habits rather than conscious choices could make it harder to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, especially when appetising food cues are practically everywhere.”

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