Alexander Simov

Hedonic Hyperphagia

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What is Hedonic Hyperphagia and why we sometimes eat only for pleasure? There was a very interesting research presented at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the ACS. It was about why we can’t stop eating potato chips after we’ve had one and why we could finish the entire bag of chips even on full stomach. This is a new discovery presented on this meeting also known by the name “The World Series of Science” on April 11th 2013.


Hedonic Hyperphagia Experiment

There was a study by the team at FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Erlangen, Germany, where two groups of rats were tested. The first group was given potato chips, while the second group was given old rat chow. Manganese-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MEMRI) was used to scan the brain activity of the rats and to see the difference in the brain activity of the first group and the second group.

The man behind this study is Tobias Hoch, Ph.D. According to the study, the reason why we all love chips and snacks is the high level of fats and carbohydrates they have. The brain showed most activity while the rats were eating the potato chips, especially in the reward and addiction parts in the brain. Even after eating the chips they had bigger amount of energy and activity that before.

Potato Chips Eating for Pleasure

We are all familiar with Hedonic Hyperphagia because we all eat snacks even when we are not really hungry. This is especially dangerous for overweight people and represents a big problem in our society. Unfortunately, there are no known healthy foods that also stimulate the reward and addiction parts in our brains.


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