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Working off of evidence that the brain continues to develop new neurons into adulthood, this study published in the May edition of Nature Neuroscience discusses the possibility of weight gain being tied to brain function. Seth Blackshaw PhD., the lead researcher on this study at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine discovered that the hypothalamus may also form new neurons. Using mice, the researchers found that young mice fed with high fat diets and then weaned from that diet were more likely to gain weight as adults.
Learn more about this article at Medical News Today: High Fat Diet Triggers Neurological Tendency To Eat More
Our Take: This function of the brain is very interesting in that it probably applied to humans when there was a lack of food. In today’s society however, the brain creating these new neurons actually causes significant weight gain. Interestingly, this study did not show significant weight gain in youth, but rather in adulthood. This means that even if the child is not obese, there are being set up for obesity in adulthood. The ramifications could be significant as we don’t know how today’s youth, which consumes ever fattier foods, may be even more obese as a group than today’s adults.